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Roundup: Asymptomatic Persons Transmit 59% of COVID-19 Cases; U.S. Cancer Death Rate Declines; and More

New CDC Data: 59% of COVID-19 Cases Spread by Persons With No Symptoms

People infected with COVID-19 who have no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of the coronavirus, according to a new analytical model from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [1].

Researchers found that 59 percent of all COVID-19 transmission came from asymptomatic people, defined by the CDC as those who are infectious before developing symptoms and individuals who never experience symptoms. Of those, 35 percent of new cases were from people who infect others before they exhibit symptoms, while 24 percent were from those who never develop symptoms at all.

The researchers stress that the findings reinforce the importance of following the CDC’s guidelines of wearing a mask, wash your hands frequently and keeping socially distant outside the household.

“The bottom line is controlling the COVID-19 pandemic really is going to require controlling the silent pandemic of transmission from persons without symptoms,” Jay C. Butler, the CDC deputy director for infectious diseases and a co-author of the study, told the Washington Post. “The community mitigation tools that we have need to be utilized broadly to be able to slow the spread of COVID-19 from all infected persons … ”

In July, the CDC put the estimate of asymptomatic carriers at 40 percent of all people who have COVID-19.


U.S. Cancer Death Rate Declined Again from 2017 to 2018 in Record 1-Year Drop

The U.S. death rate from cancer continues to decline in the United States, with the most recent data showing a 2.4 percent decrease from 2017 to 2018 — a one-year record drop, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) [2].

This cancer data is 2 to 4 years behind the current year because of the time it takes to “collect data, interpret it, ensure its quality, and share it,” says the ACS. These numbers do not account for the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has likely had on cancer diagnoses and deaths.

The U.S. death rate from cancer has fallen 31 percent from 1991 to 2018. The decrease is attributed primarily to fewer people smoking and advances in early detection and treatment for some cancers.

The 27-year decline in overall cancer deaths is ted to long-term drops in death rates in the 4 most common cancers: lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate. The largest drop is seen in lung cancer deaths.

The report estimates that almost 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2021. And more than 600,000 people will die from cancer. Even with this drop in death rates, cancer is still the 2nd most common cause of death in men and women in the US. Only heart disease kills more people than cancer.


Study: COVID-19 Sympotoms Persisted for 6 Months Led by Fatigue, Muscle Weakness

After six months following their infection, COVID-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression, according to a new study published in The Lancet medical journal [3].

More than three-quarters of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Wuhan, China between January and May had at least one symptom that was present six months later, according to the study.

Almost two-thirds of those followed still experienced fatigue or muscle weakness half a year after their acute illness. Additionally, 26 percent complained of sleep issues and 23 percent suffered from anxiety or depression, according to the peer-reviewed study of 1,733 patients.

“To our knowledge, this study is the largest cohort study with the longest follow-up duration for the consequences of adult patients discharged from hospital recovering from COVID-19,” the study states. “Our findings showed that 76 percent of patients reported at least one symptom at six months after symptom onset, and the proportion was higher in women.”