Asymptomatic Carrier

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: July 14, 2023

What Does Asymptomatic Carrier Mean?

An asymptomatic carrier is a person who has a viral or bacterial infection without exhibiting any symptoms of the illness. Despite not having noticeable signs of infection, they can nevertheless transmit it to others.

While certainly not new at the time, the concept of an asymptomatic carrier became more widely known with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Asymptomatic carriers should not be confused with pre-symptomatic carriers. While both of these terms refer to people who do not display any symptoms of an infection, pre-symptomatic carriers will eventually develop symptoms.

Safeopedia Explains Asymptomatic Carrier

According to the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) asymptomatic carriers may have symptoms, despite the name. These symptoms, however, are so minor or mild that the affected individual does not realize that they are sick.

Asymptomatic carriers accelerate the spread of disease. Since many of them don't know that they have contracted an infection, they won't realize that they should take precautions to limit contact with others.


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