“Anyone who thinks they may be infected—independent of symptoms—should get a test,” Redfield told ABC News on July 3.
Redfield’s comments came in the wake of a fresh surge of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases. On Sunday, Florida surpassed 200,000 cases, recording its highest number in a single day on July 4 with 11,458 cases—surpassing New York’s highest daily surge 11,434 in mid-April.
Cases of infection were overall on the rise in 34 states over the past week, with 12 recording an increase of more than 50 percent, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Three states—Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Vermont—are reporting a decline in cases.
Redfield said it’s difficult to use traditional methods of tracking outbreaks because of the number of asymptomatic cases of infection. He said a large number of infected people, particularly those younger than 45, don’t show symptoms, according to studies.
“Several studies have documented SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and in patients not yet symptomatic (pre-symptomatic),” the CDC noted in its “Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease” on June 30.
The CDC pointed to a study that said as many as 13 percent of transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed cases of the CCP virus in children were asymptomatic. The RT-PCR is a genome-based test developed to rapidly detect COVID-19, the disease the CCP virus causes.
“Another study of skilled nursing facility residents who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 after contact with a healthcare worker with COVID-19 demonstrated that half of the residents were asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic at the time of contact tracing, evaluation, and testing,” said the CDC.
The federal agency also noted that virologic studies have reported that a large quantity of viral RNA and viable viruses have been cultured from asymptomatic carriers.
“We’re challenged with this virus,” Redfield told ABC News.
In an overview of the testing for the virus, updated on July 2, the CDC recommended broader testing.
“Expanded testing might include testing of individuals on the same unit or shift as someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, or even testing all individuals within a shared setting (e.g., facility-wide testing),” said the CDC.