Asymptomatic - really?

(FRANK) #1

I’m trying to wrap my brain around the idea of contracting COVID-19 and showing NO symptoms. For instance, I cannot recall a time where I caught a cold and had NO symptoms. Even though the symptoms may have been minor, a tickle in the throat, slight runny nose, they were still symptoms. The same is true with the flu. Any time i contracted the flu, albeit minor, there were still some symptoms, slight nausea, slight diarrhea.

So I am not really buying in to testing positive for COVID-19, yet showing NO symptoms. There are a lot of folks much smarter than me on this forum, maybe somebody can chime in. I would like to hear peoples thoughts.

(Ethan) #2

When were you ever tested for a cold? If you did contract a cold asymptotically, but weren’t tested for one (nobody is), how would you even know?

(Old Baconian) #3

It shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp.

Most diseases have an infectious phase, between infection and the start of symptoms, during which the virus or bacterium can be passed on to others. A good example of this is the various strains of the influenza virus, and also rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

It is also possible to live with a disease and never show symptoms. The most well-known of asymptomatic carriers was Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), better known as “Typhoid Mary.” She was a carrier of typhoid fever, able to pass on the disease to the families she cooked for, despite never showing symptoms herself. She is known to have infected 122 people, five of whom died. Unfortunately, she and they all lived before the discovery of penicillin. If antibiotics had existed during her lifetime, she would not have needed to be isolated and no one would have died from contact with her.


This a 100%. Extreme example is AIDS. Thousands of people have it without symptoms. Some people have bodies that can fight off symptoms for lots of things.

(Laurie) #5

Often, when I catch a cold or flu I’m more or less asymptomatic. I’ll have a very slight headache or just feel low for a few hours. I’ll think nothing of it. I might attribute it to sleeping on the wrong side, or barometric pressure, etc. Then I’ll find out a bad cold or flu is going around and everyone else has been sick in bed all week.

closed #6