Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus 'very rare', says WHO

Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus ‘very rare’, says WHO

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Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Department of the World Health Organization, said that it is very rare for asymptomatic carriers to transmit new coronaviruses.

Addressing a press conference, Van Kerkhove said, “From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.”

“Government responses should focus on detecting and isolating infected people with symptoms, and tracking anyone who might have come into contact with them,” Kerkhove said.

The head of the zoonoses department said more research and data are needed to “really answer” the question of whether the coronavirus can be spread widely by asymptomatic carriers.

“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,” she stated.  

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