MONDAY, Feb. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Completely asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection seems to be less common than has been reported, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Emilie Goguet, Ph.D., from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in a prospective cohort of health care workers. A total of 263 participants, enrolled between Aug. 25 and Dec. 31, 2020, were assessed for SARS-CoV-2 infection by a monthly analysis of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and referral for polymerase chain reaction testing if they exhibited symptoms of COVID-19. In addition, they completed a symptom questionnaire scoring viral respiratory disease symptom intensity and frequency at least twice monthly during baseline periods of health and each day that they experienced symptoms.

The researchers found that 12 of the participants were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection through Feb. 28, 2021. All 12 had at least mild symptoms of COVID-19 near or at the time of infection compared with baseline health.

“We suspect that we observed a higher rate of symptomatic infection than what has been reported by most other studies because of attentiveness to symptoms by study participants as well as the prospective design of our study in which symptoms were collected throughout the fall and winter season every day a person felt they had any symptoms different from their baseline health,” Goguet said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.

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