Masks wearing, social/physical distancing, hand washing, and avoiding gather are ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we do want to remember that although symptoms might provide cues as to who might be infected, there are actually a high percentage of people within the population who are either pre-symptomatic, and asymptomatic. Thus, it is best to consider the possibility that you might be a carrier without knowing it, and that those you come into contact with, including friends and families might also be carriers. It is the "err on the side of caution" approach, one that will help you to keep others safe all around you, and will help you to stay safe as well. This is why, the more awareness that can be built around keeping each other protected, the safer everyone will be. We are truly all inter-connected. Our mindsets will go a long way to creating safe spaces for families, schools, communities, for Hawai`i to operate within. In the context that we are in, we will all need to be patient with one another, diligent, and steadfast in our discipline with being safe. We are in very different times, but we do have the inner strength to persevere--our aloha for each other will drive this strength. Develop those relationships of understanding, connect with one another, lift up each other...we truly are all in this together.
**Note on symptoms: SARS-CoV-2, is a new, novel coronavirus. There are constantly knew discoveries being made around COVID-19. The information shared here is meant to be a launching point for you to enter your own exploration.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 Races
Health officials are concerned about why some people who test positive for the coronavirus never feel sick. Could it be the luck of genetics? The blessings of youth? Or something else?
"The facts of COVID-19 include this disturbing reality: We have little idea who among us is spreading the disease.
Up to half of stealthy spreaders “feel fine” on Saturday night—but by the time they come down with the telltale cough, fever, and fatigue on Monday, they’ve potentially infected multitudes. Meanwhile, what could be an even more elusive bunch—people who are infected with the coronavirus but never, ever feel sick—make up 40 percent of infections in the United States, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What’s especially puzzling is why these two groups—presymptomatic transmitters and asymptomatic cases—appear so frequently. Other viruses, such as influenza and colds, spread silently too. But the extreme evasiveness of COVID-19 makes it harder to control.
Richards, Sarah Elizabeth. "Why do asymptomatic COVID-19 cases even happen?" National Geographic. 22 July 2020, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/07/why-do-asymptomatic-coronavirus-cases-even-happen-cvd/
What is Superspreading?
CDC Article: Read Report
Following a 2.5-hour choir practice attended by 61 persons, including a symptomatic index patient, 32 confirmed and 20 probable secondary COVID-19 cases occurred (attack rate = 53.3% to 86.7%); three patients were hospitalized, and two died. Transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within 6 feet) during practice and augmented by the act of singing.
The potential for superspreader events underscores the importance of physical distancing, including avoiding gathering in large groups, to control spread of COVID-19. Enhancing community awareness can encourage symptomatic persons and contacts of ill persons to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent ongoing transmission.
Seattle Times Article: Choir Superspreading Event
SHORELINE — Disease trackers are calling a choir practice in Mount Vernon, Skagit County, a superspreader event that illustrates how easily the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can pass from person to person.
The act of singing itself may have spread the virus in the air and onto surfaces, according to a report published Tuesday by Skagit County Public Health.
1. Lea Hamner, MPH1; Polly Dubbel, MPH1; Ian Capron1; Andy Ross, MPH1; Amber Jordan, MPH1; Jaxon Lee, MPH1; Joanne Lynn1; Amelia Ball1; Simranjit Narwal, MSc1; Sam Russell1; Dale Patrick1; Howard2. Leibrand, MD1. "High Sars CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice." CDC Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 12 May 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919e6.htm
2. Johnson, Carla K. "Mount Vernon choir outbreak was "superspreader event," says CDC report on how easily virus spreads." The Seattle Times, 12 May 2020, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/mount-vernon-choir-outbreak-was-superspreader-event-says-cdc-report-on-how-easily-virus-spreads/
40% Asymptomatic in Vo, Italy
Science News: Read Article of Whole Town Study
A study of COVID-19 in the quarantined Italian town of Vò, where most of the population was tested, reveals the importance of asymptomatic cases.
The authors of the new research, from the University of Padova and at Imperial College London, published today in Nature, suggest asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people are an important factor in the transmission of COVID-19. They also argue that widespread testing, isolating infected people, and a community lockdown effectively stopped the outbreak in its tracks.
Listen to: On Point Podcast: Hong Kong, Singapore, & Vo, Italy Leaders Share Their Approaches to COVID19
It's often not possible to take an all or nothing approach. However, we can read about, listen to the diverse perspectives out there and examine what did work consider what can we learn and possibly even adapt to our own situations. Are there ways to be proactive rather than reactive? Listen to leaders from the countries of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vo, Italy to share about what they discovered, what helped them to prepare, and the strategies they implemented.
1. Imperial College London, "Whole-town study reveals more than 40% of COVID-19 infections had no symptoms." Science News, 30 June 2020; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200630103557.htm
2, McQuilkin, Hilary; Chakrabarti, Meghna. "Lessons from Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea (Vo, Italy) Response to Coronavirus. WBUR On Point, 25 Mar 2020, https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/03/25/lessons-singapore-response-coronavirus
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Watch: CDC Video
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Know the symptoms of COVID-19, which can include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.