How long a person harboring coronavirus? Defined the incubation period of the disease

Every infectious disease has its own incubation period — the length of time between initial exposure to a pathogen and the first symptoms of the disease in an infected person. For example, the flu incubation period ranges from one to three days, from measles, from nine to twelve days.

Understanding the incubation period of the disease allows doctors to better monitor its spread, as the infected person becomes a “source” of the disease, even if you do not know about the disease.

In the new work, scientists from the US analysed 181 confirmed cases of infection with coronavirus infection COVID-19. Data were collected in China and other countries.

as a result, doctors have confirmed that the average incubation period of the disease is a little more than five days (5.1 days).

the Study showed that 97.5% of infected with the virus, symptoms appear within 11.5 days. And less than 2.5% of those infected — over 2.2 per day.

This means that the professionals 14-day quarantine period after initial infection is optimal, the authors of the work.

However, according to their estimates, in a very small number of cases — about 101 for every 10 thousand — the symptoms of coronavirus infection can appear in a patient after two-week isolation. In other words, the incubation period may exceed the quarantine.

the Researchers believe that in some situations (when the risk of infection is very high) active monitoring should continue for 14 days. For example, such a careful verification needed medical workers who had contact with infected people without protective suits.

it is Also important to note that the incubation period of the disease differs from the so-called latent period. This period of time from infection until the patient becomes infectious. The latent period may be shorter incubation (e.g., the flu, the difference is about a day).

it is believed that the risk of viral transmission becomes maximum at the symptomatic stage. For example, when the patient begins to sneeze and cough, it is more likely to infect other people.

But as physicians it is unclear exactly when the person infected COVID-19, he becomes infectious.

the creators of the work believe that the latent period of the disease shorter incubation, but it is unknown how contagious is an infected person in the asymptomatic stage of incubation.

On the work done by scientists reported in an article published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

in addition, the team introduced a free online tool that allows health workers and public representatives to monitor the risks and cost associated with active monitoring, as well as to estimate how many cases of infection can be identified and skipped in different periods of quarantine.

by the Way, earlier “Conduct.Science” ( wrote about why quarantine measures are not always enough to stop the epidemic. Also we told can you get coronavirus infection from Pets and how to make hand sanitizer for protection from the pathogen on their own.

Text: To.Science