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Fever, symptom screening misses many coronavirus cases



The temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks carried out in schools and doctors’ offices once again proved insufficient to detect coronavirus infection and prevent outbreaks.

A study of Marine Corps recruits found that despite these measures and strict isolation before beginning training, these recruits can spread the virus to others even if they have almost no symptoms. No infection was found through symptom screening.

The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, has an impact on universities, prisons, meat processing plants and other places that rely on such screening to detect infections and prevent disease outbreaks.

Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, said: “We have spent a lot of time implementing such measures, and these measures may not be worth the time we expected.”

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She said: “In this age group, routine examinations seem to be better” because young people usually have no symptoms.

The research was led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the Naval Medical Research Center.

It involved 1,848 Marine Corps recruits, about 90% of whom were male, who were told to isolate at home for two weeks and then in a closed university campus in a supervised military isolation at the castle in Charleston, South Carolina. , Quarantined for two weeks. This includes having a roommate, wearing a mask, at least 6 feet apart, and doing most of the training outdoors. They also have fever and symptom check every day.

The recruits were tested for coronavirus after arriving in the military quarantine zone and 7 and 14 days later. Sixteen patients (about 1%) tested positive when they arrived at the destination, and only one patient had any symptoms. During the two-week military isolation, another 35 patients (2%) tested positive, and only 4 patients developed symptoms.

Only recruits who test negative at the end of the two isolation periods can enter Paris Island for basic training.

Genetic testing revealed six independent clusters of cases among recruits.

A research leader, Navy Cmdr, said: “Many infections have occurred and we were not even aware of it.” Dr. Andrew Letizia of the Naval Medical Research Center (Andrew Letizia).

Another research leader, Dr. Stuart Sealfon of Mount Sinai, said isolation and compliance measures are much stricter than on a typical university campus.

“This is a truly infectious virus. He said that you really need to use good public health measures, temperature checks, wearing a mask, keeping your distance from the society, washing your hands… and comprehensive testing to prevent spread.

Earlier, federal officials said a screening program Of the 675,000 passengers, fewer than 15 checked the temperature and symptoms at US airports. I don’t know how many cases were missed, only a few cases were found.

Another study published in New England on Wednesday reported the outbreak of the USS Theodore Roosevelt last spring. Of the 4,779 crew members, most were young people, of whom 1,271 were infected; some of them were infected. 77% of people had no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, and 55% had never had any symptoms.

The case shows that “young, healthy people can usually quietly promote the spread of infection in the community,” Dr. Nelson Michael of the Walter Reed Army Institute wrote in a comment.

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.


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