FOR thousands of people across the globe, the new coronavirus has triggered life-threatening symptoms. 

But for as many as 50 per cent of individuals infected with Covid-19, the deadly illness can be practically invisible.

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Up to 50 per cent of individuals infected with Covid-19 are asymptomaticCredit: Getty Images - Getty

The warning signs of coronavirus include a new, continuous cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.

However, doctors have now revealed that some people may not show any of these three signs of Covid-19.

And if you dont display any symptoms - known as being asymptomatic - then the risk of infecting others increases as people do not know to self-isolate.

Here, we take you through exactly what it means to be asymptomatic during the coronavirus outbreak...

What does asymptomatic mean?

If you are asymptomatic, you are carrying a disease but have no symptoms.

According to new research, around half of all coronavirus patients show no symptoms at all but are still infectious.

Researchers made the revelation after gathering data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Of the 3,711 passengers who were tested, 712 tested positive, and 331 (46 percent) didnt show symptoms, according to Japan’s health agency.

Those who are asymptomatic are most likely to be healthy, younger and even children.

The US Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) said: Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can I still have coronavirus without symptoms?

Yes, though you may not have any symptoms you could be a silent carrier of the disease and still pass it on to those around you.

Science journal Nature says the warning sign of “covert transmission” is finding sick people with no recent international travel or contact with anyone displaying symptoms.

The exact rate of such transmission is unknown, but inferences are it’s very high.

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The dramatic outbreak in the US state of Massachusetts is a case in point.

Researchers believe at least 82 cases out of 2,000 were contracted from spreaders not yet showing symptoms.

It can also take five days to show symptoms, research has found, and they can still appear after the quarantine period.

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COVID-19 has claimed the lives of thousands across the nation

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

Symptoms of coronavirus vary widely, with patients reporting a huge range of different symptoms.

However, the NHS says the two main signs of coronavirus are a temperature above 37.8 degrees C or new continuous cough.

It’s entirely possible to have just one of these two key features without the other.

Some people will start with one and develop the other a day, or even several days, later.

As well as a dry cough and temperature, its understood that some people may also experience breathing difficulties, which is when hospital treatment may be needed.

But there are also lesser-known mild symptoms that a number of those diagnosed with coronavirus have reported experiencing.

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In particular, some Covid-19 patients have reported experiencing tummy ache just before developing the other known symptoms.

Doctors have also warned that a loss of taste or smell could also be a sign of coronavirus.

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, which represents experts in ear, nose and throat medicine, has said that those who lose these senses should self-isolate immediately - even if you have no other symptoms.

They added that the eye infection conjunctivitis may also be another sign.

Other signs of coronavirus may include brain fog, fatigue and muscle soreness.

How do I know if I have had the coronavirus?

Currently only people in hospital are being tested for coronavirus, so if you have symptoms and youre not sure if you have the virus, you may well not be able to find out - even if youre working for the NHS.

The Government has said it wants to see 25,000 tests being done a day within four weeks.

Those without symptoms may be able to be tested with an antibody testing kit, which the Government announced on March 26.

The kits dont test whether you currently have the virus, but they can say whether your body has the specific antibodies to fight it off.

The presence of antibodies indicates that youve had the virus in the past.

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Testing kits are being made available so even if you havent displayed symptoms, you can check whether you were infectedCredit: Reuters

How can I protect myself?

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene, health experts say.

In order to reduce your risk of infection, you should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoid contact with others.

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Loss of taste and smell IS sign of coronavirus – but it’s STILL left off official symptoms list

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