WHO: Asymptomatic People Spread COVID-19 Rarely

WHO: Asymptomatic People Spread COVID-19 Rarely

Coronavirus patients without symptom can spread the virus rarely, says WHO. On Monday, WHO officials said that WHO’s researchers had doubt that asymptomatic people can’t transmit virus.

Young people and people with good health don’t show symptoms even after contracting the virus. Other people show symptoms days after they are infected.

At start, evidences were that virus can spread from person to person without even physical touch. People without symptoms also spread the virus. This was the reason that every country had a pretty high graph of COVID-19 cases for the first 3-4 weeks.


Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said at a news briefing from the United Nations agency’s Geneva headquarters, “from the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual. It’s very rare.”

Also Read: WHO Advises Use Of Face Masks

She also says that governments should focus on isolating people having symptoms. Officials should track and test the contacts of these people. She also acknowledged that previous studies showed that these people also spread the virus.

There is an evidence of infected people spread the virus as, in nursing homes and at homes, they transmitted the virus. Sometimes, nurses and the care takers at homes also became infected if proper safety measures were not taken.

She added that more research is still needed to “confirm” this conclusion. “We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”

The data of WHO represented these results. More study is required for accuracy. However, if this is true, governments would have to change their pandemic fighting policies. This would be a lot easier to control the virus.

Conversely, many of the previous studies including CDC study showed that asymptomatic people can spread COVID-19. CDC study states, “these findings also suggest that to control the pandemic, it might not be enough for only persons with symptoms to limit their contact with others because persons without symptoms might transmit infection.”

WHO said that the spread is rare, not impossible. Kerkhove said “if we actually followed all of the symptomatic cases, isolated those cases, followed the contacts and quarantined those contacts, we would drastically reduce” the spread.

The aim is really to reduce the spread. None can eliminate the virus at once. However, the current goal is to limit the spread.

The Bottom Line:

WHO says that asymptomatic patients can’t spread the virus. Head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit said that people without symptoms rarely spread the virus. She also said that governments should focus on isolating symptomatic people and their contacts.

However, previous studies showed different results. Some concluded in favor and others against.

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