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Vanderbilt led studies put Tennessee on leading edge of coronavirus research

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  -- Research led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center is shifting the world’s understanding of coronavirus.

In a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases this month, researchers found that 42 percent of health care workers who contracted COVID-19 never had symptoms. The finding has huge implications for how hospitals protect staff and patients.

VUMC lead investigator Dr. Wesley Self noted “Our results suggest that screening health care workers for COVID-19 even when they don’t have any symptoms could be important to prevent the spread of the virus within hospitals.”

Another Vanderbilt study found that COVID-19 patients remain ill longer than those who contract other types of respiratory infections. That means they’re also capable of spreading the illness to others for a longer period of time.

This second study also found that more than half of the COVID-19 patients followed did not know where they contracted the infection. Dr. Self says that finding emphasizes the importance of social distancing and the use of face masks in public.

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