In some patients, the continuum of Govit-19 does not appear until a few months after infection. At the same time, a German study indicates that the percentage of asymptomatic individuals is much higher than thought.
There are asymptomatic cases in the large unknowns surrounding the Govt-19 infection. What prevents some individuals from developing the disease after being infected with the new corona virus? Do your cases have results that may be helpful to other patients?
However, being asymptomatic is not always a blessing. The Gutenberg Govit-19 study of the Medical University in Mainz, Germany, is not only about the direct effects of the epidemic, but also its greater impact on public health.
One of its findings is that the number of unidentified cases is higher than previously thought. These may also be subject to late and prolonged complications of the original infection – The so-called “long govt.”
Gutenberg Govid-19, DW Project Leader, Philip Wilde, Professor of Medical Epidemiology, University of Mainz, interviewed about this new epidemic:
“We’re coming back to big public events, so we need early warning systems. We wonder if there’s a molecular signature, something you can measure in the blood, indicating that the patient is on track to develop long covit syndrome.”
How did you and your team determine that more than 40% of people in Germany are unaware that they have Govit-19?
We selected a sample of volunteers proportional to the German population and asked if they were infected with the new corona virus within two or four months. We tested the PCR with them and measured their antibodies, which indicate whether a person is infected, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
You followed more than 10,000 volunteers over a six-month period.
Exactly. Most of the unknown cases are very old: 63% or almost two-thirds of participants over the age of 75. Of those aged 25 to 30, only one-third had undiagnosed infections
So is it time to spread self-examination, not only to see if everyone is affected, but also to find out if they have had Govt-19 in the past?
Undoubtedly, it is better to start testing the population better, especially now that we are easing preventive measures. We’re back to big public events like the recent football euro, so we need early warning systems. Those who have been vaccinated should also be tested because they can infect those who have not yet been vaccinated.
But we also found that we still need to determine which antibodies to measure in individuals. Most have only a few types, so we need to learn what to look for so that we can do long-term Govt-19 screening.
How many of these undiagnosed cases could be “long covid”?
This is a debatable issue. In our study we are still exploring it, and it is still a while since there is a definition of “long covid” six months after the original infection. But what we do know is that in known cases, 10% form long-term Covit-19, and in 10% of these – or 1% of the total – it is a severe form. We now need to understand how long asymptomatic cases can form.
In young people who unknowingly have Covit-19, the organs are damaged, but is there any reason to fear that it will only be diagnosed many years later?
In fact, that is what we fear. We wonder if there is a molecular signature, something you can measure in the blood, indicating that the patient is on track to develop long covit syndrome. But this is still a question of research, and everything we do now is still monolithic. We need to compile additional data to be sure of how to access these events and how to identify them.
But, yes, our fear is that even after symptomatic or mild infections, some patients are at risk of developing chronic coma.