What can we do to limit asymptomatic spread?
Any time a virus can be spread by people without symptoms, you have to turn to preventative measures.
Social distancing measures and lockdowns work, but have large economic and social repercussions. These were necessary when epidemiologists didn’t know how the virus was spreading, but now we know it sheds at high quantities from the upper respiratory tract.
This means that universal mask wearing is best tool to limit transmission, and there is evidence to back that idea up.
On April 3, the CDC recommended that all members of the public wear facial coverings when outside of the house and around others. The World Health Organization finally followed suit and recommended universal public masking on June 5.
At this point, no one knows exactly how many cases of COVID-19 are from asymptomatic spread. But I and many other infectious diseases researchers are convinced that it is playing a major role in this pandemic.
Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can prevent asymptomatic spread and help reduce the harm from this dangerous virus until we get a vaccine.