People might be most infectious with coronavirus before they show symptoms, study suggests

Kizzmekia Corbett, the National Institute of Health's lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research tells CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta that a vaccine for coronavirus could possibly be available to the general public by next spring.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 10:51 PM
Updated: Apr 15, 2020 10:51 PM

People might be most infectious with the novel coronavirus before they show symptoms, according to a study published Wednesday.

The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, adds to a growing body of evidence showing that seemingly healthy people are spreading the virus.

"We observed the highest viral load in throat swabs at the time of symptom onset, and inferred that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset," the researchers wrote.

They found that viral shedding -- when people may be able to infect others -- could begin two to three days before symptoms appeared. The amount of virus given off, though, appeared to decline after people began feeling sick.

Researchers gave a stark warning alongside their research: Because people may be spreading the virus before they show symptoms, public health interventions -- such as contact tracing -- will need to be adjusted.

Not only will investigators need to identify those who were exposed to symptomatic people, but they may also need to look retroactively -- tracing contacts from when people still felt healthy.

"More inclusive criteria for contact tracing to capture potential transmission events two to three days before symptom onset should be urgently considered for effective control of the outbreak," the researchers wrote.

The study did have limitations. Namely, it relied on patients' memories of when their symptoms first appeared, which could have been fuzzy.

Still, the research is consistent with other findings, which suggest that people who don't feel sick are in fact contributing to the spread of the virus.

Based on that growing body of evidence, the White House has recommended that healthy people wear face coverings outside to reduce the risk of infecting others.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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