Coronavirus may be most infectious when symptoms are the mildest, a small German study has found.
The study was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday and detailed in a report by Fox News.
The news network pointed out that the study only included nine participants,
Researchers found that people who contract the virus give off high amounts of it very early on in the infection, Fox News said. Many people may be at their most infectious when showing only mild, cold-like symptoms.
In short, that could explain why the virus spreads so easily.
"This is in stark contrast to SARS," the researchers noted in a report on the medRxiv database.
According to Fox News, the researchers said that in SARS patients, viral shedding peaked about seven to 10 days into the illness. In seven patients with COVID-19, "peak concentrations were reached before Day 5 and were more than 1,000 times higher" than those seen in SARS patients.
"This is a very important contribution to understanding both the natural history of COVID-19 clinical disease as well as the public health implications of viral shedding," Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told Stat.
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