Can the coronavirus be transmitted before a person exhibits symptoms?

This is part 40 of our coronavirus FAQ. Click here to read other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.

The coronavirus can be transmitted before a person exhibits symptoms

According to a report issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers examined routes of infection in cases in Singapore and found seven clusters which are thought to have been caused by transmissions between people who were not yet exhibiting symptoms.

Infected people can spread the virus during the incubation period

The study found that these people developed fever, cough, or runny nose several days after they were in contact with others who later contracted the virus. This means they did not show any symptoms at the time of contact, as the virus was still in its incubation period. The researchers believe these people spread the virus through droplet transmission, among other possible methods.

Some of the infections have been linked to singing lessons. The researchers say even if the infected person was not coughing, they may have emitted droplets when singing.

Avoid crowds and gatherings

The researchers say their finding proves the coronavirus can be transmitted during the incubation period. And they say it shows it is not enough for people who are already showing symptoms or are asymptomatic to isolate. We should all avoid crowds and gatherings, as anyone could be carrying the virus.

The information is accurate as of July 20, 2020.