As the world still fights COVID-19 with over 11m reported and 543k related deaths, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) study found that 78% of all people who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic. This finding is now linked to the conclusion that many people transmit this disease without knowing that they are carrying it and shows how difficult it is to contain the spread of this highly infectious virus.
The study also showed that health and social care personnel are more likely to test positive. While deaths in the UK fell below average for the second week in a row for all reasons. The study showed that there were 59,000 more deaths than the averaging five years between late March and June.
The ONS survey included relatively few positive swab tests. This makes it difficult to draw a clear conclusion about who is most likely to be infected. However, some patterns can be recognized from the data.
It can be concluded that people who work in the health or social sector and generally work outside their home were more likely to have a positive test.
Likewise, ethnic minority individuals were more likely to have a positive antibody test, indicating the previous infection.
White people were the least likely to test proportionally for antibodies.
There was also evidence that people living in larger households are more likely to run positive tests than people living in smaller households.
Some people who tested positive without symptoms may develop symptoms, or may have already had symptoms and have eliminated them.
Although men die of coronavirus more often than women, this study showed no difference in the likelihood that they would become infected with the COVID-19.
The numbers are based on tests by randomly selected people in homes in England . So, people living in nursing homes or other facilities were not included in the study by ONS.
This happened after the Prime Minister spoke on Monday about how asymptomatic spread could have contributed to COVID-19 cases in nursing homes.
He suggested that too many nursing homes did not really follow the procedures that caused trouble in the nursing home sector.
Business secretary Alok Sharma said that no one knows what the correct procedures are, as an understanding of the extent of asymptomatic transmission is insufficient at the beginning of the outbreak.
The WHO also warned of the asymptomatic transmission but did not quantify the associated risk.
While only 22% showed symptoms in the ONS study, 33% showed symptoms either on the day of the test or a few days later.
Experts have been claiming for the past months since the outbreak that asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is possible and common.
However, it is clear that without population-wide testing, it is for sure difficult to determine how many people are positive and are not showing symptoms. But, the ONS research has tried to give an example of how widespread asymptomatic transmission can be, at least in a real setting.
Nelson Richards is a Seasoned Journalist with nearly 6 years of experience. While studying at Case Western Reserve University, Located at Cleveland. Nelson found a passion for finding and writing articles which are published in Well known Media Publications such as Tnt Publications and Ohio News Network. As a contributor to Chroniclex Nelson Covers National Topics.