We are living in a world of pandemic this year. With the commencement of COVID-19 and declaration of pandemic 2020, life is not the same this year. Many medical terms such as herd immunity, viruses, Coronavirus, surgical masks, etc are now known to most of the people in the world.
Another term that is gaining popularity due to COVID-19 being pandemic is asymptomatic. In this post I will try to explain this term to the best of my knowledge.
Before going into details of asymptomatic conditions, let’s first know about few other terms related with it.
What is the most important prerequisite for a person to know whether he/she is suffering from a clinical condition or a disease or not? Signs or symptoms, right? Let’s understand this.
What are Symptoms?
In medical terms, the changes that are noticed in an individual’s body due to any medical condition or disease, are called symptoms. Symptoms are important for the diagnosis of a disease.
When we visit a doctor due to an illness, what does the doctor asks for? The doctor notes symptoms that a patient experiences due to an illness. This helps the doctors to understand the causative agent of the disease. Thus, signs and symptoms are important.
Examples of Symptoms: Rise in body temperature, inflammation, pain, spots on body parts, nausea, vomiting, etc. are some examples of signs and symptoms produced in a medical condition.
Have you ever imagined that you might still be ill without knowing about being sick? Yes, and this is not a new thing. There are two conditions related with this:
1. Asymptomatic condition
2. Presymptomatic condition
What is Asymptomatic Condition?
In general terms, asymptomatic condition usually occurs when you are ill but not producing any symptoms of illness, so you don’t know, you are ill.
What is Asymptomatic Disease?
Any disease in which, the infected person has no symptoms of the disease and acts as the carrier of disease is called asymptomatic disease.
The person carrying the disease is called asymptomatic carrier or simply carrier. These carriers are responsible for transmission of disease form one individual to another.
What is Presymptomatic condition?
Presymptomatic condition refers to a period of time in which the infectious agent is in incubation and the person is not producing any symptoms. In other words, the infecting particles are still multiplying in the body and symptoms are yet to be developed.
Every microorganism has an incubation period inside its host, when it grows and multiplies. As we know by now, that for the Coronavirus to produce symptoms it might remain in our body for 14 days. Thus, the new Coronavirus has an incubation period of maximum 14 days.
A presymptomatic condition might convert into symptomatic condition and the infected individual might start producing the symptoms of the disease as the infection advances in the body.
But, this is not the case with asymptomatic carriers. Asymptomatic carriers do not produce any symptoms even after days or months of contracting a disease and this is critical in disease transmission.
So, now the question arises, why some people become asymptomatic? Scientists suggest that the genetic makeup of an individual plays an important role in contraction of a disease. Some people might not produce the symptoms due to low count of infectious agent in the body. While others might even prevent the growth of the microorganisms due to their strong immune system.
What Can Be Done Now?
Recently, some scientists suggested that COVID-19 might go asymptomatic or at least presymptomatic in some individual and can be critical in disease transmission. So what we can do in order to prevent contracting the disease or even spreading the disease to other as we don’t know whether we are the actual carrying the virus or not?
Apart from washing hands frequently, using any kind of mask while going outdoors can help in preventing the transmission of the virus. We don’t know we are carriers or not. So if we cover our mouth and nose with a mask, we are stopping the spread of the virus to other people.
Coronavirus is not new but the strain causing COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 is new. Little is known about it in the scientific world too. Scientists are trying their best to come up with some concrete solution to the pandemic 2020.
Till then, we should do our bit in stopping the spread of the virus. Few things that we can keep in our mind and bring in practice can really help in preventing the disease.
1. Social distancing is still important even when the lockdown has been removed in most part of the world. Avoid people and social gatherings as much as possible.
2. Maintain personal hygiene is key to stop spread of any disease. Wash hands when at home and use sanitizers when outdoors.
3. Wearing a mask of any kind is important not only to protect us but also for the protection of others.
4. It is always advisable to remain at home when having any flu like symptoms till the symptoms subsides and full recovery.
5. Building immunity and positive thinking should be practiced for the better body, mind and soul.
We are all in this together and together we can fight with it. We know that this shall pass too, but if we do our bit it shall pass sooner.