Coronavirus patients could be asymptomatic for up to two days, local expert says

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – You hear the term “asymptomatic” being used a lot when talking about the coronavirus, but why is it important when looking at the big picture of this pandemic?

Asymptomatic means you are infected with the coronavirus, but aren’t yet showing symptoms.

An infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse says research shows 1-2 days before patients develop typical symptoms of COVID-19, they are capable of unknowingly spreading it to others.

“Since we know that patients may be completely asymptomatic, it’s important that we test them even before they have symptoms,” Raj Palraj, MD, said.

The doctor also says not knowing exactly how many people are asymptomatic makes it that much more important to wear a face mask in public places to prevent the spread of the virus.