Half of coronavirus patients show no symptoms of the illness, according to a study done in Iceland.
Researchers tested 17,900 residents of the island nation for the virus — many of whom were “self-selected”— and found that roughly 50 percent of participants with the sickness were symptom-free, according to CNN.
“What it means in my mind, is that because we are screening the general population, we are catching people early in the infection before they start showing symptoms,” said Kári Stefánsson, founder of deCODE, one of the testing firms.
Only about 1 percent of the subjects tested positive for the potentially deadly bug, according to the research, which was conducted by the National University Hospital and the biopharma company deCODE Genetics.
The effort has also helped researchers better understand how the virus spreads, Stefánsson said.
“We can determine the geographic origin of the virus in every single [virus] in Iceland,” he said — adding that virus mutations from each country have different characteristics. “There was one that is specific to the west coast of the United States.”
“The results of the additional tests performed by deCODE have given an indication that efforts to limit the spread of the virus have been effective so far,” Icelandic government officials said last week.