Ongoing research related to the COVID-19 pandemic has already revealed several new insights about it. So far, the precautionary measures imposed by officials to flatten the curve of new transmissions are somewhat effective. However, an effective treatment or vaccine is yet to be discovered. A new update regarding SARS-CoV-2 reportedly reveals some people who infected did not even show any symptoms. According to experts, this means that there is still a lot to learn about the virus.

So far, aside from the common symptoms associated with COVID-19, there is no other way to diagnose someone without a test. Others view this in a positive development, which implies that the coronavirus might be not as lethal as proposed, but it also poses another problem for healthcare systems. This makes it impossible for individuals to know if they or someone they meet is positive and contagious.

This presents a dilemma for government officials which will affect their decision to ease the lockdown preventive measures in place. ABC News reports that silent infections were observed at a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, a homeless shelter in Boston, and a hospital in New York among others. The numbers published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 25 percent of those infected do not show symptoms.

Meanwhile, among military personnel, it could be as high as 60 to 70 percent as detailed by vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten. On the other hand, Harvard School of Public Health's Dr. Michael Mina claims the data is likely inaccurate. This purportedly comes from "flawed and inadequate testing" which suggests that the government might "have just been off the mark by huge, huge numbers."

The coronavirus pandemic, combined with the halt in US funding, marks the biggest challenge to date for World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photo: AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI

It was highlighted that accuracy of available testing methods should be called into question. These normally rely on detecting coronavirus collected from swabs taken from the throat and nose. In certain cases, wherein the viral load is low, the results might show a negative one day, yet, repeat tests done days after often come back positive after the patient begins to show symptoms of COVID-19. Once again, this is another factor that should be taken into consideration as officials attempt to control the outbreak.