We’re publishing an original piece today by Dr Will Jones, one of Lockdown Sceptics’ editors and regular contributors, which tries to answer 12 key questions about COVID-19 as factually as possible, referencing the best, most up-to-date evidence. We’ve decided to stick it just below ‘About’ in the main menu on the right-hand side.
The questions he considers are:
- How deadly is COVID-19?
- How is COVID-19 Spread?
- What about asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission?
- Do lockdowns work?
- Does social distancing work?
- Are lockdowns harmful?
- Are the vaccines effective?
- Are the vaccines safe?
- Do masks work?
- Are masks safe?
- Are effective treatments available?
- What should governments have done?
To give you a taster, here’s Will’s answer to question number three: What about asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission?
Asymptomatic infection is typically characterised by a much lower viral load and consequently much lower infectiousness. The study in JAMA on household secondary attack rate (SAR) cited above found that asymptomatic infections had a SAR of just 0.7% versus a SAR of 18% for symptomatic infection. The proportion of infections that are asymptomatic increases among those with immunity from previous infection or vaccination, showing that it is a characteristic of immunity.
People become infectious around two days prior to onset of symptoms as viral load peaks. This pre-symptomatic transmission is estimated to account for around 6.4% of spread, according to a study of actual transmission events from Singapore. Modelled estimates of the contribution of pre-symptomatic spread appear to go too high.
This means that people without symptoms, whether asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, are not major drivers of the epidemic.
The whole thing is very much worth reading in full.