WHO: Spread of virus from people without symptoms is ‘rare’
Despite concerns expressed by health officials and researchers that the novel coronavirus is spreading from people without symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the virus is very rarely transmitted by people who do not show symptoms.
Addressing a briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the emerging diseases and zoonosis unit at the WHO said, based on detailed contact tracing reports from different countries, that it is ‘rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits to a secondary person.’
She also claimed that apparently asymptomatic carriers actually did not know the virus symptoms. If we really go back and ask, ‘How many of them were always asymptomatic,’ she said. ‘We find out that a lot of people have a very mild, really mild disease.
“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing,” she said. “They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
Kerkhove also proposed that countries concentrate on identifying and isolating symptomatic people in order to help combat the virus outbreak.