Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

May 26, 2021

Estimating Infectiousness throughout SARS-CoV-2 Infection Course



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  • An analysis of 936,423 SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive samples from hospitalized and non-hospitalized persons in Germany found that high viral loads (> 109 copies per swab) were found in 8% of subjects, 1/3 of whom were pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic. The mean number of days from onset of viral shedding to peak viral load was 4.3. Additionally, persons infected with the B.1.1.7 variant had a 1.05 higher mean log10 viral load and a 2.6-fold higher probability of cell culture replication than persons infected with non-B.1.1.7 strains. These results indicate that some individuals with mild or no symptoms may be as infectious as persons with severe infection.

Jones et al. (May 25, 2021). Estimating Infectiousness throughout SARS-CoV-2 Infection Course. Science.