November 02, 2020
In today’s Recommendation for Industry, we answer questions on asymptomatic COVID-19. Read more here.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Taking Care of Youth Who Have Diabetes. As those with diabetes face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19, protecting diabetic youth working in the food and agriculture industry during the COVID-19 epidemic is imperative. Find more resources from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Global cases of COVID-19 have excessed 46 million.
OSHA has put out an infographic of Steps to Protect Cleaning Staff During COVID-19. This infographic is downloadable in English (link) and Spanish (link). Protect those working to protect your business and ensure they have the resources needed!
As states are slowly re-opening dine-in services in restaurants, OSHA has released Guidance for Restaurants to protect their businesses, their employees, and their customers. Find the downloadable infographic in English (link) and Spanish (link).
FDA has issued a Consumer Update on “Pulse Oximeters and Oxygen Concentrators: What to Know About At-Home Oxygen Therapy.” As low oxygen levels (or a drop in oxygen levels) can be found in COVID-19 patients, FDA highlights that consumers “should not use an oxygen concentrator at home unless prescribed by a health care provider.”
Recommendations for Industry
A Q&A on Asymptomatic COVID-19
TAG regularly receives questions about asymptomatic infection of COVID-19. Following are a few Q&As addressing these.
What does it mean to have an asymptomatic case of COVID-19?
A person who is asymptomatic, is infected with COVID-19, but does not experience any of the symptoms of the infection. These persons can make up a significant number of positive cases. For example:
A recent study from Switzerland’s University of Bern published in PLOS Medicine, found 20% of people who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain asymptomatic throughout infection.
A study of residents of a nursing facility following the identification of COVID-19 in a health care worker, found that approximately 50% of the residents who tested positive were asymptomatic or presymptomatic on the day of testing. (CDC) Pre-symptomatic people are those who are infected but asymptomatic at the time they’re tested. These people will go on to develop symptoms later in their infection.
Additionally, the World Health Organization has stated “data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic.”
Why is this important?
Even if a person is showing no symptoms of COVID-19, they can still spread the virus. Because of this CDC recommends that anyone who has been in close contact (less than 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over 24 hours) with someone with a documented COVID-19 infection be tested, even if they have no symptoms. As stated in its October 21 update, “Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.”
Additionally, “Pending test results, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members.” CDC also notes that viral tests are recommended for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, not only to diagnose acute infection, but also to guide contact tracing, treatment options, and isolation requirements.
How do I know if I have COVID-19 but am asymptomatic?
The only way to know for sure is to be tested. Testing may also be recommended for asymptomatic “healthy” people:
Before being admitted to the hospital or procedure to protect healthcare personnel and other patients.
Where there is significant spread of the virus in your community.
In settings where rapid spread is more likely, such at where people are in close quarters for extended periods.
If I did have asymptomatic COVID-19, am I now immune?
No scientific studies have yet validated any long-term immunity to the virus by symptomatic or asymptomatic persons. According to CDC, There also is no firm evidence that the antibodies that do develop are protective; or, if they are, what levels are needed to protect against reinfection.
As of November 02 2020 (12:16 ET), there are over >46,688,000 cases (>1,202,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
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