Up to 90% of COVID-19 patients do not have key symptoms when tested: UK study

Up to 90% of COVID-19 patients do not have key symptoms when tested: UK study
Students and staff have their temperature taken at the entrance to a campus building, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the University of Bolton in northern England on Oct. 7, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 08 October 2020

Up to 90% of COVID-19 patients do not have key symptoms when tested: UK study

Up to 90% of COVID-19 patients do not have key symptoms when tested: UK study
  • Findings suggest many people already tested for virus may need to be assessed again
  • Epidemiologist calls for “change to future testing strategies”

LONDON: Up to 90 percent of patients with COVID-19 do not display any of the three key symptoms when tested, a study published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology has found.
Scientists at University College London (UCL) revealed that in a survey, just 16 of 115 people who tested positive for COVID-19 — out of 36,000 volunteers tested between April and the end of June — had a fever, cough, or loss of taste or smell on the day their sample was taken. 
The findings suggest that global testing regimes based on developing symptoms could lead to missed cases and false diagnoses, and that many people may need to be retested frequently in the coming months.
“The fact that so many people who tested positive were asymptomatic on the day of a positive test result calls for a change to future testing strategies,” said Prof. Irene Peterson, an epidemiologist at UCL.
“Future testing programs should involve frequent testing of a wider group of individuals, not just symptomatic cases, especially in high-risk settings or places where many people work or live close together such as meat factories or university halls.”
According to a South Korean study published last month, asymptomatic cases had the same amount of the virus as symptomatic ones. 
“On any given day, the majority of people with the virus will not be displaying any symptoms,” said Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading.


Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
Updated 30 min 37 sec ago

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
  • Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration
  • Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists pose a threat to Washington

WASHINGTON: A heavily armed man has been arrested in Washington at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated next week, authorities said.
Wesley Allen Beeler, of Virginia, was taken into custody after police found him with a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, according to a police report obtained by AFP.
He had tried to pass through the checkpoint using fake inaugural credentials, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration, after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Five people died in the assault, including a police officer.
Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week.
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers.
The National Mall, which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations, has been declared off-limits at the request of the Secret Service, which ensures the security of the president.