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Spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic people ‘appears to be rare’: WHO

Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, on Monday (June 8) said that the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 by asymptomatic person 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, on Monday (June 8) said that the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 by asymptomatic person appears to be rare.

Addressing 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. 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. 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.”

The WHO official also described how coronavirus, a respiratory pathogen, spreads through droplets, which are released through coughing or sneezing.

“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.

According to Van Kerkhove, the asymptomatic cases of coronavirus 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. 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. Having said that, we do know that there can be people who are truly asymptomatic,” she noted.

According to the Worldometers website at 11:40 PM on Monday, the global COVID-19 count has now increased to 71.48 lakh after 66,342 fresh cases were registered in a day. With 2,409 new fatalities, the death count due to the virus that was first detected in Wuhan (China) surged to 4,07,492.

News Credit ZEE News

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