What is a Covid ‘Case’? What About Asymptomatic Spread? Are Children Safe in Schools?

On March 18, 2021, Dr. Ryan Cole, M.D., spoke on issues surrounding Covid-19 at the Idaho State Capitol. The following transcript is taken from his presentation, and this installment serves a Part 2 of a 5-part series. Dr. Cole is a Board Certified, Mayo Clinic trained pathologist who has been in practice for 18 years. He is the CEO and Medical Director of Cole Diagnostics in Boise, Idaho and is unaffiliated with any political party or organization.

Editor’s note: Despite several Idaho news organizations and some in the medical field seeking to discredit and smear Dr. Cole with false allegations and character assassination, the staff at True Idaho News has reviewed the data provided by Dr. Cole and thus presents it here with confidence. True Idaho News does not receive advertising money nor bonuses from pharmaceutical companies or vaccine manufacturers, nor does it receive CARES Act money. True Idaho News has no reason to withhold valid and verifiable facts from the citizens of Idaho.

WHAT IS A ‘CASE’ OF COVID?

What is a “case” of Covid? This has been controversial. Just because we can detect Covid, is it a “case?” In this room, 90 – 95% of you have mononucleosis – Epstein Barr virus. Ninety five percent of you have CMV virus, and probably 95% of you have shingles. Also strep throat and yeast infections. In a laboratory, through a very sensitive test, I could detect that. But if you don’t have symptoms, how many of you have shingles right now? Probably very few. Just because you have the virus, does that mean you are a “case” of shingles? No. You’re not a case of shingles.

Just because you carry the mono virus in your body, does that mean you have mono right now? No, it does not.

Why don’t you have it right now, even though you have that virus in you? Because your innate T-cell memory immune system is keeping it at bay. Same thing with cancer cells. Every day in your body, you get a malignant cell or two. Your T-cells come along, shake hands with it, and blow it up.

If we look at these numbers and these curves, we must ask, what’s truly a “case” versus “a virus detected”?

How we’re defining things is something important to think about. In medicine, we usually define a “case” as someone with both a pathogen and symptoms.

ASYMPTOMATIC SPREAD

That leads us to asymptomatic spread. In Wuhan they did a 10-million-person study. They found 300 who tested positive but were asymptomatic. You’ve heard a lot about asymptomatic spread. In their study, where 300 tested positive with no symptoms, out of the 11,074 close contacts with those 300 people, there was zero transmission.

A very large meta-analysis from the University of Florida and the University of Washington looked at 54 studies from around the world. In their findings, we read, “The lack of observed transmission from observed asymptomatic index cases is notable.  The peak of transmission is at symptom onset.”

ARE CHILDREN SAFE IN SCHOOLS?

More good news. The world famous CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) at the University of Minnesota looked at studies from North Carolina – a very big study – a study from Sweden, and a study from Norway. They concluded, “It is better to adjust infection prevention and protocols according to community transmission levels than to close our schools.” The study also stated, “Children, especially aged 0-10, are not a significant factor in the spread of Covid-19.” That was a five-country study published in the world-famous journal, The Lancet.

And from a JAMA study of 2482 children in Germany: “In this cross-sectional study, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection during a period of lockdown in southwest Germany was particularly low in children aged 1 to 10 years. Accordingly, it is unlikely that children have boosted the pandemic.”

Therefore, in a classroom, it is not very likely that Covid will spread child-to-child, and it’s far less likely that it will spread from child-to-teacher. It would generally be the other way around.

Am I saying we shouldn’t do surveillance? No. We can still be prudent as we decrease our fear and anxiety and move forward with prudence.

Read more from Dr. Cole’s presentation.

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