Thus, we suggest that asymptomatic individuals are infectious during the
early stage of infection, but some rare cases (3/100.000) become
long-term virus carriers which are no longer infectious. This would
reconcile the Wuhan post-lockdown study with the other studies including
the one from Luxembourg. This conveys several important messages for
science and public health: (i) During the acute phase of a COVID19 wave,
asymptomatic individuals should definitively be included in the testing
strategy and their contacts traced, because they can drive the
inapparent spread the virus similar to symptomatic cases. (ii) Among AIC
there is a category of rare long-term SARS-COV-2 carriers (3/100.000),
with minimal risk for virus transmission, despite detectable viral RNA.
(iii) Despite low absolute numbers, the proportion of this
category of asymptomatic carriers will increase as the virus retreats.
(iv) Finally, it cannot be excluded that rare long-term carriers may
become virus reservoirs, with the potential to cause recurrent
outbreaks. This has important implications for future SARS-COV-2 public
health and surveillance, and our understanding of yet another pitfall of
this cunning virus.