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Omicron Scare: Who are asymptomatic COVID carriers? How serious can they be for others?

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to a surge in cases across the country. Know what does asymptomatic mean and if asymptomatic carriers can transmit the omicron variant of Covid-19 to others?

Health Desk Written by: Health Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 06, 2022 18:39 IST
Who are asymptomatic COVID carriers?
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Omicron Scare: Who are asymptomatic COVID carriers? How serious can they be for others?

The country is in the tight grip of the third wave of COVID-19. The new variant Omicron has led to a surge in cases because of its widespread. There has been a massive increase in the number of infections over the last few weeks. The government has informed that India has reported over 6.3 times rise in Covid-19 cases in the last eight days. While the health ministry is taking proper care and protection regarding the security of the citizens, asymptomatic Covid cases still remain a challenge for them. 

Who are asymptomatic carriers?

It is reported that not everyone who has caught COVID or tested positive for the virus is showing symptoms. These patients are called Asymptomatic carriers. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition asymptomatic carriers are laboratory-confirmed cases where a person infected with COVID-19 does not develop symptoms. These infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms. That is why even people who have COVID-19 but do not show symptoms should be isolated to limit their contact with others. This will break the chains of transmission.

Ministry of Health, Government of India says asymptomatic carriers are the laboratory confirmed cases not experiencing any symptoms and having oxygen saturation at room air of more than 94%. In many cases asymptomatic carriers are healthy adults and this is one of the plausible reasons why they can't be spotted unless and until tested.

What asymptomatic COVID carriers should do?

The Union Health Ministry has issued a guideline for asymptomatic Covid patients. They should remain in isolation. In the advisory issued by the Central Health Department for the treatment and isolation of asymptomatic Covid patients, it has been said that asymptomatic Covid patients need not be admitted to the hospital. Such patients do not even need to be tested and should be isolated for only 7 days. 

Along with asymptomatic covid, mild covid patients have also been instructed to follow home isolation. Only those people will be admitted to the hospital who have more symptoms and who are facing difficulty in breathing and have lack oxygen or are suffering from other serious conditions.

How serious can asymptomatic carriers be for others?

People who are asymptomatic can still transmit the virus even if they do not have symptoms or are vaccinated. Director of Maulana Azad Medical College, Doctor Naresh Gupta on December 30 warning about the widespread of the Omicron variant said, "Reportedly, 70 per cent Omicron patients are asymptomatic, and with the variant's high transmissibility, it's going to spread like fire once it gets into the community because you won't know if the next person is infected."

Therefore, it is important to get tested, and those who test positive for the virus isolate themselves immediately to prevent the spread of the virus to others and if required, receive medical treatment.

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