Asymptomatic and sub-clinical Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus infections

Added June 26, 2020

Citation: Grant R, Malik MR, Elkholy A, et al. A review of asymptomatic and sub-clinical Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infections. Epidemiologic reviews. 2019 Nov 29;41(1):69-81.

What is this? Existing research on the transmission of other coronaviruses, such as MERS-CoV, might provide useful information for those dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for observational epidemiology research of confirmed asymptomatic and sub-clinical MERS-CoV infections in healthcare and non-healthcare settings. They restricted their searches to articles published in English before November 2019. They included 23 studies where exposures were outside of healthcare settings and 20 studies where exposures were in healthcare settings.

What was found: The majority of infections found in serological testing were asymptomatic.

Positive PCR tests were seen in asymptomatic patients from 28-42 days after the initial positive test.

Healthcare workers were more likely to be at risk of MERS-CoV infection due to close unprotected contact with patients with MERS, particularly when performing aerosolizing procedures.


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