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It has been more than two years since Covid-19 first surfaced in China, and it continues to infect thousands of people daily, thanks to new strains emerging. 

One of the reasons why the coronavirus has been able to spread so easily is because many sufferers only feel mildly ill and some have no symptoms at all. 

According to a study, which has been published in JAMA Network Open recently, more than half of those with the variant Omicron do not even know they have the virus. 

Scientists looked at 210 adults during the Omicron surge and discovered 56 per cent were unaware they were infected.

Consequently, the “low rates of Omicron variant infection awareness may be a key contributor to rapid transmission of the virus within communities”, the report stated.

One-tenth of those infected thought they simply had a common cold, which means they were less likely to isolate or be attentive to their personal hygiene to prevent the spread of their illness. 

Time magazine reported Dr Susan Cheng, lead author of the study, as saying: “Lack of awareness and lack of knowing could lead to walking around with something transmissible, and unwittingly passing the virus to a household member, neighbour, co-worker, or something at the grocery store.”

The director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Ageing at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute noted “we have to live with this virus for some time”, and as people can become reinfected, she emphasised the importance of testing to prevent its unnecessary spread.


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