Asymptomatic Summertime Shedding of Respiratory Viruses.


To determine rates of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection among ambulatory adults, we collected nasopharyngeal swab specimens, demographic characteristics, and survey information from 1477 adult visitors to a New York City tourist attraction during April-July 2016. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis was used to identify specimens positive for common respiratory viruses. A total of 7.2% of samples tested positive for respiratory viruses; among positive samples, 71.0% contained rhinovirus, and 21.5% contained coronavirus. Influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus were also detected. Depending on symptomatologic definition, 57.7%-93.3% of positive samples were asymptomatic. These findings indicate that significant levels of asymptomatic respiratory viral shedding exist during summer among the ambulatory adult population.

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