Transmission Potential of Asymptomatic and Paucisymptomatic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infections: A 3-Family Cluster Study in China

J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 11;221(12):1948-1952. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa206.


Data concerning the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in asymptomatic and paucisymptomatic patients are lacking. We report a 3-family cluster of infections involving asymptomatic and paucisymptomatic transmission. Eight of 15 (53%) members from 3 families were confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of 8 patients, 3 were asymptomatic and 1 was paucisymptomatic. An asymptomatic mother transmitted the virus to her son, and a paucisymptomatic father transmitted the virus to his 3-month-old daughter. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the environment of 1 household. The complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from the patients were > 99.9% identical and were clustered with other SARS-CoV-2 sequences reported from China and other countries.

Keywords: COVID-2019; SARS-CoV-2; asymptomatic; paucisymptomatic; transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asymptomatic Infections*
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Contact Tracing
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Phylogeny
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Quarantine
  • SARS-CoV-2