CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 transmission highest within a week of symptom onset: study

Focus Taiwan
Date: 05/02/2020
By: William Yen

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) The viral transmission of COVID-19 has been found to be highest within a week of the onset of symptoms, according to a medical study authored by a Taiwanese research team published by the American Medical Association Friday.

The research paper "Contact Tracing Assessment of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in Taiwan and Risk at Different Exposure Periods Before and After Symptom Onset" was authored by six medical researchers for the Taiwan COVID-19 Outbreak Investigation Team and published in the monthly peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The paper, which collected data from Jan. 15 to March 18 with a final follow up date on April 2, followed Taiwan's first 100 confirmed patients and 2,761 of their close contacts to determine transmissibility of the coronavirus before and immediately after symptom onset.

The findings indicated that the infection rate was higher among contacts whose exposure to index cases started within five days of symptom onset compared with those who were exposed later.

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