Tuesday, June 9, 2020

WHO: Data suggests it's "very rare" for coronavirus to spread through asymptomatics

COVID-19. Photo: Image Point Fr - LPN/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

By Marisa Fernandez

Contact tracing data from around the globe suggests that while there are instances of asymptomatic coronavirus patients transmitting the virus to others, they are not "a main driver" of new infections, World Health Organization officials said at a press conference Monday.

Why it matters: Evidence early on suggested that person-to-person transmission among people who didn't experience symptoms could lead to outbreaks that would be difficult to control. Young people and healthy people who did not experience symptoms were also suspected to be potential carriers to more vulnerable populations.

The big picture: The WHO is now relying on data obtained through contact tracing, said Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.  Read more >>