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Iceland is a small island country that is one of my favorite spots I’ve ever traveled to. Being a small country with a low population, they are able to implement certain types of policies that are not quite as practical in larger countries.
As of this past weekend, the country and the biotechnology firm deCode Genetics tested more than 10,300 people, which is a very high percentage of tests done per capita. In fact, Iceland claims that they have tested the highest percentage in the world on a per capita basis.
They are not only testing citizens who have symptoms or who have come into contact with others known to have the disease, but they are testing thousands of people from the general population who don’t have any indications of being ill.
So what this has done is helped to shed light on potential carriers of the coronavirus who do not exhibit symptoms.
Iceland only has 218 confirmed cases but what is interesting is that half of those who tested positive have no coronavirus symptoms.
There is other scientific research out there that has shown that coronavirus is spread through people who show no signs of being sick. (The University of Texas at Austin found that more than 10 percent of patients were infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms.)
So this is both encouraging and scary at the same time.
On the one hand, this means that tens of thousands of people will catch the virus but may not be affected in a bad way when it comes to their health. The big question here is how many of those asymptomatic people developed symptoms later on? Because it’s been shown that some asymptomatic people show signs of pneumonia.
These findings also means that it could be exceptionally difficult to prevent transmissions from spreading because so many people will fly under the radar without some type of new testing that is done on an unprecedented widespread basis.
I think this is another reason why it is so important to keep your distance from others because you never know what they could be harboring. It’s not just about avoiding people who have symptoms.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.