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'Stealth Transmission' To Blame For Coronavirus Spread, Per Experts

Per a new study, the rapid spread of the coronavirus that’s put the entire world on edge may have been fueled by COVID-19 cases that, unfortunately, flew under the radar due to the lack of proper testing kits when it was first declared as a global public health emergency.

Undiagnosed Spread To Blame For COVID-19 Pandemic

We all know that the coronavirus started back in late December, when an elderly man from the Chinese province of Wuhan supposedly contracted it from a seafood market. Giving off flu-like and pneumonia symptoms, the spread was slow at first, although by the end of January this year, it managed to spread like wildfire not just in mainland China, but also to other countries all over the world.

However, a lot of experts also said that with even with the large number of confirmed cases, there are still a lot of those that contracted it without even knowing it. As such, the new study adds weight to this suggestion, finding that people who didn’t get diagnosed with COVID-19 (mainly because they didn’t show symptoms or felt anything) are behind at least two-thirds of documented coronavirus cases in China during the early days of the outbreak before it was considered as a pandemic.

"The explosion of COVID-19 cases in China was largely driven by individuals with mild, limited, or no symptoms who went undetected. Undetected cases can expose a far greater portion of the population to [the] virus than would otherwise occur. … These 'stealth transmissions' will continue to present a major challenge to the containment of this outbreak going forward," Jeffrey Shaman, study co-author and a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said in a recent statement.

According to estimates made by the study (where the researchers developed a computer model to simulate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 ), about 86 percent of all COVID-19 infections in China were undetected prior to the lockdown of Wuhan back on January 23.

"We know this is just the tip of the iceberg," Shaman said at a press conference.

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons

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