The World Health Organization (WHO) today addressed the confusion surrounding an official’s comments on Monday, suggesting Covid-19 spread by asymptomatic people. “It seems rare.”
“It is still rare for a person who is already asymptomatic to transfer to a secondary person,” said Maria Van Kirkhoff, WHO Technical Director for Coronavirus Response and Head of the Emerging Zoonotic Diseases Unit.
But today, during the live question-and-answer session, she made it clear that “This is largely unknown.”
“We know that some people who have no symptoms or some people who have no symptoms can transmit the virus – so what we need to understand better is the number of people who have no symptoms,” Van Kerkhof said.
She further explained:
“What I was referring to yesterday at the press conference was very few studies that tried to look at unaccompanied cases over time … and this is a very small subset of studies, so I was responding to a question at the press conference. Van Kerkhof said:” It is It states “…” because this is unknown, because there are so many unknowns about this, some modeling groups have attempted to estimate what percentage of people who do not have symptoms who might be transmitted.
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergency Program, said during live questions and answers that there is still much to learn about the possible asymptomatic spread of coronavirus.
“Whatever the proportion of the disease that is transmitted from asymptomatic individuals, as Maria said, it is not known,” Ryan said. “There is a lot to answer about this, and a lot is unknown.”
Ryan added that the virus, a pathogen in the upper respiratory tract, is transmitted through drops – such as when someone coughs or sneezes, but some research also indicates that it can spread by speaking too.
Earlier, on Monday, Van Kirchhoff said that what appears to be asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 often turns into cases of mild illness.
“When we really go back and say how many of them really have no symptoms, we find that many of them have a really mild illness,” Van Kerkhof said on Monday.
remember: A person who really has no symptoms has no symptoms and does not continue to develop symptoms of Covid-19. While the symptoms of symptoms of the disease refer to the presence of atypical or very mild symptoms, pre-symptoms refer to the early stages of the disease, before symptoms appear.
In the planning scenarios, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 40% of coronavirus transmission occurs before people feel sick.