This week, coronavirus cases in the UK have risen to 460, leading to widespread panic about the spread of the disease.
Now, a new study has warned that the disease could be most contagious before symptoms even appear.
In the study, scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology and Munich Clinic Schwabing revealed that the infectious virus could be isolated from nose and throat swabs from patients with mild symptoms.
This suggests that people with even mild symptoms are capable of transmitting the virus, according to the researchers.
In the study, the researchers monitored patients receiving treatment for the coronavirus in Germany.
Do you have a coronavirus story? Email [email protected]
The researchers explained: “During the course of these investigations, the researchers found several cases in which infectious virus could be isolated from nose and throat swabs which had been obtained from patients with mild symptoms and propagated in cell culture.
“These patients presented with symptoms which were reminiscent of the common cold rather than severe pneumonia.”
Meanwhile, the analysis also suggests that the coronavirus replicates in the nose, throat and gut, as well as in the lungs.
Based on the findings, experts are urging the public to be vigilant about regular hand washing – the key way to protect yourself from the virus.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Babak Ashrafi, a doctor with Zava, explained: The primary advice is using soap and water to wash your hands – that’s the best way to get rid of bacteria.
“Hand sanitiser isn’t as good, but is better than nothing, especially if you’ve been out in public.”