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Spread of New Coronavirus by People Without Symptoms Is Rare: WHO

TUESDAY, June 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The spread of the new coronavirus by people without symptoms of COVID-19 appears to be rare, a World Health Organization official said Monday.

“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said during a media briefing, CNN reported.

“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 said.

“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,” Van Kerkhove said.

She also said that asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 often turn out to be mild disease, CNN reported.

The new coronavirus “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,” Van Kerkhove said, CNN reported.

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