The World Health Organization has revealed that the spread of Coronavirus by people not showing symptoms appears to be rare.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit made this known during a media briefing in Geneva on Monday.
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.”
According to Van Kerkhove “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 is very rare — and much of that is not published in the literature.”
She added that “We are constantly looking at this data and we’re trying to get more information from countries to truly answer this question. It still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward.”
How the virus spreads
Van Kerkhove also gave other details about how the virus spreads saying “It passes from an individual through infectious droplets.”
“If we actually followed all of the symptomatic cases, isolated those cases, followed the contacts and quarantined those cases, we would drastically reduce — I would love to be able to give a proportion of how much transmission we would actually stop — but it would be a drastic reduction in transmission,” she said.
Van Kerkhove revealed that what appear to be asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 often turn out to be cases of mild disease.
“When we actually go back and we say how many of them were truly asymptomatic, we find out that many have really mild disease,” Van Kerkhove said.
“They’re not quote-unquote Covid symptoms, meaning they may not have developed fever yet, they may not have had a significant cough, or they may not have shortness of breath — but some may have mild disease,” she said.
She adds that “Having said that, we do know that there can be people who are truly asymptomatic.”
There have been concerns in the past that people with the virus but without symptoms could be spreading it faster within communities.
The latest revelation by the WHO only means that for someone to spread the virus the person may actually be showing mild symptoms of the virus.