(BLOOMBERG) — Seven hundred people on board of the cruise ship called the Diamond Princess became infected with the novel coronavirus while in the waters off of Japan in February of 2020. Bloomberg reports that about twenty percent of the 3,711 people on the ship, which includes passengers and crew, became infected with the novel coronavirus. However, most of the people who were infected were not showing any symptoms. Researchers analyzed all of the documents cases and found that the majority of people did not have severe symptoms. Rather, most suffered from a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, and did not have a fever. Because of the mild symptoms, many people suffering from COVID-19 on the ship did not request medical attention, which helped spread the virus.
Bloomberg noted that the first reports from Japanese researchers concerning the sickened passengers on board of the ship indicated COVID-19 infections appeared as pneumonia. Over time, doctors monitoring the ship as it was anchored off of Japan learned that most of the passengers who had COVID-19 did not manifest the tell-tale signs of the illness. The preliminary reports indicated that COVID-19 resulted in pneumonia. It is conceivable that passengers on the cruise ship did not seek medical help because they believed that the only symptom of COVID-19 was pneumonia. Doctors and researchers now know that the symptoms of COVID-19 are varied and are often confused with other illnesses and conditions.
A lower testing threshold on the Diamond Princess gave researchers a significant opportunity to examine COVID-19 closely. Researchers gained access to the vessel while it was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. Understanding how COVID-19 manifests is necessary to control the spread of the virus. Since most of the people who have COVID-19 have shown no symptoms, taking the temperature of the passenger before embarking is not useful. Had the medical staff on the Diamond Princess understood more about the virus, then the crew would have had the chance to quarantine passengers who showed even mild symptoms.
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