COVID-19 news from Annals of Internal Medicine

COVID-19 news from Annals of Internal Medicine

Below please find a summary and link(s) of new coronavirus-related content published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The summary below is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. A collection of coronavirus-related content is free to the public at

At least 1 in 3 COVID-19 cases asymptomatic

Analysis makes a case for widespread testing to identify those who may unwittingly spread the virus

A review of 61 studies and reports comprising more than 1.8 million people confirms that at least 1 in 3 people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus do not have any symptoms. These findings build on a June 2020 review of a more limited data set, which also found that a significant proportion of infections were asymptomatic. The review is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The authors from Scripps Research reviewed studies and reports from around the world, including two
massive serosurveys in England and Spain that tested the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in hundreds of thousands of people. In both studies, about one-third of individuals tested positive for the virus but never experienced symptoms.

According to the authors, these findings suggest that widespread at-home testing to include even those without symptoms could help to identify those who may unwittingly spread the virus, as about half of new infections are believed to be caused by people who are either presymptomatic or asymptomatic. Determining how effective vaccines are at preventing asymptomatic infection will also be important. The authors note that it was just about one year ago–on January 24, 2020–that the first asymptomatic case of COVID-19 was documented, but largely ignored. Read the full text:

Media contacts: A PDF for this article is not yet available. Please click the link to read the full text. The lead author, Eric J. Topol, MD, can be reached through Anna Anderson at


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