TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - In correcting the public’s misconception of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, a pulmonologist from the Persahabatan Hospital, Andika Chandra Putra, has revealed that there are three classifications for individuals in this bracket.
According to Andika, the public generally sees asymptomatic individuals only as those who are COVID-19 positive, but do not show any visible symptoms in their infection.
“Actually, if we look at it literally, the word does imply that (asymptomatic) individuals are those who are positive, just without symptoms or complaints,” said Andika, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
However, in addition to individuals who are COVID-19 positive but do not showcase any symptoms, Andika pointed out that asymptomatic individuals can also be presymptomatic, or those who are in the early stages of coronavirus infection.
He explained that COVID-19 infection is divided into three stages. During the early stages of infection, or the first two to three weeks, the symptoms will be very mild and local. “Sometimes it would be just a sore throat, or fever, or coughing.”
The second phase is called presymptomatic which is known to be dangerous. The individuals who are infected in this stage can unrealizingly transmit the virus to their surroundings or to those in close proximity.
Meanwhile, individuals not showing any symptoms could also be classified as mildly symptomatic. “Mildly (symptomatic) fail to realize their symptoms, and often would only complain of fever or coughing that they consider to be just a common cold,” Andika stated.
Essentially, Andika emphasized, symptomatic, presymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals all pose the potential risk of transmission. As such, he advised for more aggressive COVID-19 tracing through PCR swab tests.
“What we mean by positive is those who have been tested and their results came out. However, if these people are not showing any symptoms and they do not realize (they are positive), we can’t confirm. It could be that these people are positive and are infecting others; that’s the real danger,” he added.
ANTARA | Translator: DIO SUHENDA (Intern)