Among their discoveries: The virus does not only affect people with other, underlying health conditions, and people who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus.
The researchers noted that SARS infections similarly did not only affect people with other conditions.
But an asymptomatic infection raises the question of whether people have to be showing signs of the disease to pass it to people, a question that experts are rushing to answer.
In a commentary piece also published Friday by the Lancet, Dr. David Heymann, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, wrote that “the picture these two manuscripts paint is of a disease with a 3-6 day incubation period and insidious onset.”
“When pieced together, these emerging data will permit regular refinement of the risk assessment, and real-time guidance to countries for patient management and outbreak control, including the best case definition for use in surveillance around outbreak sites and elsewhere.”