Four months after the first corona cases in Germany, scientists have analysed the infection chains of the first patient group in detail.
Researchers led by Merle Böhmer from the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, Udo Buchholz from the Robert Koch Institute and Victor Corman from the Charité hospital in Berlin examined the first corona cases in Germany that were related to the automotive supplier Webasto near Munich.
A Chinese colleague had introduced the pathogen during a business trip.
Are people infected with the corona virus already contagious before they notice anything themselves? This could make it much more difficult to contain the pandemic.
A German study has now investigated the question.
The study, which was published in the journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases”, confirms that infected people can be contagious even before the first symptoms appear.
The coronavirus SARS-COV-2 can be transmitted even before the first symptoms appear.
This was shown by a German research team in a recent study.
Infectivity even before symptoms begin
Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection exists before the onset of symptoms
In at least one of the 16 cases examined, an infected person passed on the coronavirus before he or she had symptoms, the authors report.
It is possible that this was true for five other cases.
In at least four cases, an infected person infected other people on the day the symptoms started.
Five more cases could fall within this period, the authors write.
The team concludes that the fact that the infectivity is considerable before the onset of symptoms or shortly afterward poses a huge challenge for health measures.
In addition, the incubation period, which averaged 4.0 days, was often very short.
“A global containment of Covid-19 might be difficult to achieve,” emphasised the researchers.
The first nationwide corona cases were analysed in detail
Jan Rybniker and Gerd Fätkenheuer from the University Hospital of Cologne also underline this in a “Lancet” commentary.
“This fits in with other results which estimate the frequency of pre-symptomatic transmission to be up to half of all infections.
This is one of the most serious obstacles to controlling the pandemic.
In the event of a major spread, the traditional pursuit of contacts would no longer be sufficient.
“Therefore, new technologies such as contact tracking apps are urgently needed to effectively control the pandemic,” the Cologne experts emphasize.
Annelies Wilder-Smith of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) also emphasizes this in a statement: The study underlines the importance of tracking transmission chains through contact tracing and quarantining of contacts.
“All countries that have introduced rigorous contact tracing have been most effective in keeping the number of newly infected people small.
South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore are clear examples of countries that do not spare the resources and technology to conduct rigorous contact tracing.
All have been successful.
” (vb; source dpa)
This article contains only general information and must not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.
It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.