Dr. Anthony Fauci said the recent World Health Organization official declaration that the asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus “appears to be rare” is incorrect, said a CNN report.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said WHO’s comment “was not correct.”
Evidence shows that 25% to 45% of infected people likely don’t have symptoms, Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.
Earlier, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging disease and zoonosis unit, commented that asymptomatic spread is “rare.”
This has prompted widespread confusion as doctors and scientists have been saying the opposite for months.
“And we know from epidemiological studies they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they’re without symptoms. So to make a statement to say that’s a rare event was not correct,” said Fauci.
The WHO has immediately rushed to correct said statement.
Mike Ryan, head of emergency programs for WHO said, it was not the “intent of WHO to say there is a new or different policy. There is still too much unknown about this virus and still too much unknown about its transmission dynamics.”
CNN said there’s a difference between asymptomatic spread and pre-symptomatic spread.
Asymptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who do not have symptoms and will never get symptoms from their infection. But those infected carriers could still get others very sick.
Pre-symptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who don’t look or feel sick, but will eventually get symptoms later.
They, too, can infect others without knowing it, said CNN.