Study Finds Half of Greeks With COVID-19 Showed No Symptoms


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Ismini Karli)

ATHENS - Compounding the fight against COVID-19 is that nearly 50 percent of those in Greece with antibodies against the Coronavirus didn’t show symptoms nor knew they were carrying it, a University of Athens study found.

Published recently in the Vaccines journal, the study contained the results of testing on 4,996 volunteers (aged 18-82 years, some 34.5 percent men) from June to November 2020 and found that 1.6 percent were infected some time.

But 49 percent of the seropositive cases reported that they had no symptoms of any kind that accompany the disease, such as a low but persistent fever, muscle pain and fatigue, loss of taste and smell or a cough, and almost one-third didn’t know how they contracted it, said Kathimerini.

The level of antibodies was similar between infected volunteers that did show symptoms and those that did not, irrespective of age and gender, adding to the uncertainty of its spread.“The high percentage of unsuspected/asymptomatic active cases, which may contribute to community transmission for more days than that of cases who are aware and self-isolate, underscores the necessity of measures across the population for the efficient control of the pandemic,” the study’s authors said.

Volunteers with the highest rate of antibodies came from the School of Health Sciences, whose students and faculty work at Coronavirus referral hospitals run by Athens University.