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An Italian whole-town study shows that 40% of the coronavirus cases are asymptomatic

Image Credit: LaPresse via Ap: Claudio Fulan

A study that covered the whole Italian town of Vo, found that 40% of coronavirus cases were in fact asymptomatic. This suggests the importance of asymptomatic cases in the spread of the virus.

The study which was conducted by Italy’s Padua University and Imperial College London, also found evidence that mass testing, case self-isolation and lock downs can stop outbreaks fast.

Andrea Crisanti, a professor at the Padua Italian University said ‘Despite silent and widespread transmission, the disease can be controlled’.

‘Testing of all citizens, whether or not they have symptoms, provides a way to .. prevent outbreaks getting out of hand’.

The Italian city of Vo has a small population of 3,200, which allows mass testing easier. Their first cases occured on February 21, and the city was immediately locked down for 14 days. This allowed researchers to test the whole population.

The results showed that 2.6% of the population, or 73 people, were infected. After 2 weeks, only 29 people were found to be positive for the virus. The professor, Crisanti concluded that the success at this small Italian town guided wider public health policy in the whole Veneto region. It had ‘ a tremendous impact on the course of the epidemic’, when compared to other regions in Italy.

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