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05/26/20

Infection detection in health care and social care

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it has become clear that people need to know basic facts about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to make well-versed health care and public policy decisions. Two general virological ideas have gotten a lot of focus recently - the "infection dose" and the "viral load" of SARS-CoV-2.

What is an infectious dose?

The infectious dose is the amount of virus required to establish an infection. Depending on the virus, people need to be exposed to as pretty as ten virus particles, for example, for influenza viruses - or as many as 1000s for other human viruses to get infected.

Scientists do not know how many virus SARS-COV-2 particles are required to activate infection. COVID-19 is clearly extremely contagious, but this may be because few particles are required for infection, or because infected release a lot of virus in their atmosphere.

What is the viral load?

The viral load is the amount of specific disease in a test sample taken from a patient. For COVID-19, that means how many viral genomes are noticed in a nasopharyngeal swab from the patient. The viral load reflects how well a virus is replicating in a polluted person. A high viral load for SARS-CoV2 detected in a patient swab means a big number of coronavirus particles are in attendance in the patient.

Does high viral load increase capability to pass the virus to others?

In general, the  high number of virus you have in your airways, the more you will release when you exhale or cough, although there is a lot of person-to-person variation. Different studies have reported that patients have the highest viral load of the COVID-19 at the time they are diagnosed.

This means that patients transmit COVID-19 more perfectly at the starting of their sickness, or even before they know they are sick. This is a bad news. It means people who look and feel fit can transmit the virus to others.

Where does the uncertainly on viral loads and infectious dose leave us?

Studying viral loads and the transmittable dose will likely to be vital to make excellent decisions for health care providers. For the rest of us, regardless of the viral load patients or the SARS-CoV2 infectious dose, it is excellent to decrease exposure to any amount of virus, since it is clear the virus is transmitted successfully from person to person.

Present social distancing practices and restricted contact with groups of people in enclosed areas will decrease the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Further, the use of face masks will decrease the amount of virus launched from asymotomatic and preymtomatic individuals. So stay home and stay safe.

Prevention and control of infection in care homes

 


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