W.H.O.: Asymptomatic Coronavirus Spread Is ‘Very Rare’

Wednesday, 10 Jun, 2020

Geneva. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has changed its advice on facemasks, saying they should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

To be sure, asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread of the virus appears to still be happening, Van Kerkhove said but remains rare.

Absolutely. Van Kerkhove told ProPublica she believes many cases were wrongly classified as asymptomatic when they were pre-symptomatic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reported that 25 to 50% of cases may be asymptomatic. In early April, one laboratory in Iceland said that as many as 50% of cases could be asymptomatic.

These were the details of the news COVID rarely spreads from people without symptoms for this day.

While adding that more data is needed to "truly answer" the question, Van Kerkhove explained that several countries are now conducting "very detailed contact tracing" in which "they're following asymptomatic cases".

Those layers in that order can "provide a mechanistic barrier", epidemiologist Maria D. Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization technical lead on COVID-19, said during a media briefing from Geneva Friday.

Van Kerkhove added that more data is need to "truly answer" the question of whether the coronavirus can spread widely through asymptomatic carriers.

"If we actually followed all of the symptomatic cases, isolated those cases, followed the contacts and quarantined those contacts, we would drastically reduce" the scope of the pandemic, Van Kerkhove remarked.

Because COVID-19 generally has an incubation time of up to two weeks, public health officials think it will take a couple of weeks before they see the impact.

"Current evidence suggests that most transmission of COVID-19 is occurring from symptomatic people to others in close contact, when not wearing appropriate [personal protective equipment]", the guidelines state.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted that COVID-19 situation is getting worse around the world.

How many people with the coronavirus are asymptomatic?

Tedros said that in countries where the situation was improving, "the biggest threat is now complacency", adding that "most people globally are still susceptible to infection". He also advised people to maintain a safe distance from others - and to stay home if they are sick.

Speaking on protests in the U.S., which were sparked after a black man George Floyd died in police custody last month, he said, "WHO fully supports equality and the global movement against racism".