World Health Organization retracts claim on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19

Amid lockdowns WHO says asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is rare

"We know from epidemiological studies they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they're without symptoms", Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday.

The different definitions of what it means to be asymptomatic complicate matters, The Washington Post noted.

"Now as we look at COVID-19, we have an infectious pathogen that is present in the upper airway for which the viral loads are peaking at the time you are just beginning to get sick", he said. According to current evidence, COVID-19 is primarily transmitted between people via respiratory droplets and contact routes.

In the press conference Monday, Kerkhove said there are fewer asymptomatic patients than previously thought. They're following asymptomatic cases, they're following contacts and they're not finding secondary transmission onward. "It's very rare." These nations will hopefully give a better understanding of asymptomatic transmission. And some might not develop any COVID-19 symptoms until several days after being infected.

Jha cited a May Swiss study that indicated that between 40 and 60% of all coronavirus cases originated from people when they didn't have symptoms at the time of the spread. Some modeling studies have assumed quite widespread asymptomatic transmission. The goal of wearing a homemade cloth mask is to reduce the transmission of the Covid-19 virus in community settings from individuals who may be asymptomatic but spreading the virus.

At least 35 percent of people who test positive for Covid-19 are asymptomatic and experts have pointed toward these cases as the most risky in creating the spread Covid-19. It's definitely possible for people who feel fine to spread the virus, whether they're asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Someone with very light symptoms may consider themselves asymptomatic, or confuse asymptomatic with pre-symptomatic.

Does wearing a mask help?

"I used the phrase "very rare" and I think that it's a misunderstanding to state the asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare", she said on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Van Kerkhove clarified that when she talked about "rare" asymptomatic transmission, she was referring to the very limited data that followed such cases.

Some people are truly asymptomatic despite a positive coronavirus test, but contact tracing appears to show they rarely transmit the virus onwards, she added. This statement comes despite warnings from numerous experts worldwide that such transmission is more frequent.

Van Kerkhove pointed out since coronavirus mainly "passes through infectious droplets", it is when people are coughing or sneezing that they are most able to transmit the disease.

Data suggesting asymptomatic transmissions prompted countries across the world to shut down businesses, government agencies and other areas of public life.

Van Kerkhove said that the WHO's guidance was based only on science and not on any considerations of supply.

Her statement sparked debate as top researchers and reputed public health experts termed the assertion as "surprising" and "confusing".