Is a person with coronavirus contagious before they feel sick?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

Coronavirus (WDIV)

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus, so Local 4 is letting viewers submit questions so we can find verified answers.

Click here if you want to submit a question about the coronavirus.

How long is a person contagious before symptoms?

Local 4 received a this question from a viewer: “Is it true that a person with the coronavirus is contagious two weeks before they feel sick?”

The answer: potentially.

A paper published Feb. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association described a situation in which a 20-year-old woman in China is thought to have spread the virus to five family members before she felt ill or even tested positive for COVID-19.

That situation raises the possibility that the virus might be transmissible long before the illness is apparent. But it might change with better investigation. Dr. Frank McGeorge will monitor the information and keep viewers updated.


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.