Viral Transmission and Clinical Features in Asymptomatic Carriers of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China

Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 Aug 18:7:547. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00547. eCollection 2020.


We report the clinical characteristics, viral shedding duration, and contact tracing for asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China. The asymptomatic carriers were relatively young (median age: 34.5 years). Chest computed tomography showed no abnormalities. The nasopharyngeal swab was an optimum specimen for RNA testing. The median viral shedding duration was 11.5 days. Notably, 2 months of viral shedding duration were reported in two nurses, which was much longer than previously reported or than usually thought. The transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 by asymptomatic carriers during the studied period in Wuhan appeared to be weak. Only one patient (1/12) was found to have transmitted the virus to another person. Early asymptomatic carrier detection, isolation, and contact tracing could be useful to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; asymptomatic carrier; clinical features; transmission ability.