Coronavirus patient
(Photo : Screenshot from Twitter of @ajplus)

Silent carriers are the new breed of those who are infected by the coronavirus, and it's as terrifying as you might think. One out of three infected are classified as silent carriers, and researchers still do not know how contagious they are.

Coronavirus patient
(Photo : Screenshot from Twitter of @ajplus)

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Silent Carriers

Silent carriers are people who show no symptoms of the virus but have it regardless, how? Scientists are still baffled as to how this is the case for some of the individuals infected. The only way for these people to be identified is if they allow themselves to be checked or go to hospitals voluntarily to get tested. No other way.

What Problem Does This Pose?

The problem for this would be as obvious as day and night, the fact that they are asymptomatic or show no signs of the infection would mean they would go about their healthy lives if lockdown measures are not in effect in their respective countries. Scientists still don't know how contagious these individuals are, but if they can infect others, it would be without them knowing until it would be too late for the newly infected.

Scientists and Experts Clamor to WHO

More and more scientists challenge the WHO statement that asymptomatic transmission is "extremely rare."

Hiroshi Nishiura is an epidemiologist at Hokkaido University, and his colleagues wrote a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Nishiura said: 'The number of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases worldwide continues to grow, and the gap between reports from China and statistical estimates of incidence based on cases diagnosed outside China indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.'

He also said in the letter, "The asymptomatic ratio ... could be higher among children than in older adults. That would considerably change our scope of the outbreak, and even the optimal interventions can change.'.

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The West Still Lags Behind Asian Countries Against the Coronavirus

Besides the lack of using highly technological means and self-discipline of its citizens, there are other reasons that the west still has a lot to learn from the eastern hemisphere. The United States, Britain, and Italy do not test people without symptoms unless they are the people who are in the frontlines every day. 

US and European countries only test airport arrivals if they show symptoms, Hong Kong tests all arrivals regardless if they look healthy or not. 

Asymptomatic cases are already known, yet they can't do anything about it but to implement lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. 

Country With Highest Number of Silent Carriers

Korea, for the meantime, holds the highest rate of silent carriers in the world, this doesn't mean, however, that other countries are safe from this. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of South Korea's CDC on March 16, that: "Korea currently has a significantly higher rate of asymptomatic cases than other countries, perhaps due to our extensive testing.' 

Silent Carriers are indeed a threat even though quarantine and lockdown are now becoming the norm in our society. However, it would be impossible to detect them unless they get checked or if it would be too late. Would we even have sufficient kits for testing? Probably not.

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