Time article discusses the implications of the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic people in a broader context
This article, written by Alice Park for Time, discusses a recent report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study reported that at least 30% of people with COVID-19 could spread the disease even though they do not know that they have the disease. More reasonable estimates from the study range from around 40-45%, a striking result which could influence how the world views the silent spread of this novel coronavirus. Revealing more information about how the virus transmits from one person to another is vital to inform policy, economic, and social decisions.
Park focuses a large part of her reporting on quotes from one of the authors of the paper, Dr. Eric Topol. While this commentary is insightful and complements the report well, the primary perspectives on this topic come from this one source. Alice Park counteracts this limitation by justifying his credentials and including some other co-authors of the study in the report which bolsters their credibility. Additionally, she references other similar studies that analyse a similar topic.
The word choice of the news article accurately represents both the quality and subject matter of the scientific study. While dense in some points, the results are presented with clarity and are explained with the broader context in mind. Since this information is relevant to nearly all of the population, it may be more necessary to portray the findings of the scientific study with less emphasis on statistics and quantitative data. The general implications of the study should be stressed as the technical details of the study may distract from the purpose of the article.
The Time article, written by Alice Park, describes a study that reviewed and synthesized published and unpublished studies surrounding asymptomatic patients with COVID-19. It was discovered that 40% to 45% of infections consist of asymptomatic persons. It was also discovered that asymptomatic persons have the ability to transmit the virus to others for a period longer than 14 days and may have lung abnormalities.
Park discusses the researchers’ findings as well as the methods they used for collecting their data. She stresses the severity of having asymptomatic individuals, as their lungs may still show severe damage and they are still able to spread the virus unknowingly and potentially for longer than 14 days. Park also shares that the researchers are hoping to look further into the idea that fitness trackers that track heart rates may help to find COVID-19 clusters.
Park effectively and accurately discuses the research article’s findings as well as the unknown gaps within that area of research. She also introduces a different study that also supports the idea that asymptomatic individuals may experience damages to their body, as a result of the coronavirus, unknowingly. While discussing another study adds to the credibility of the main research article being discussed, Park only provides statements from the scientists that did the study.
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