By Beth Baumann
On Tuesday, the WHO held a press conference to clarify Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove’s comments about asymptomatic people spreading the disease being “very rare.” She described it as a “misunderstanding,” The Washington Post reported.
“I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that,” she said. “We do know that some people who are asymptomatic, or some people who do not have symptoms, can transmit the virus on.”
The head of emergency programs for the WHO, Mike Ryan, expanded on the correction.
There was no “intent of WHO to say there is a new or different policy,” he explained. “There is still too much unknown about this virus and still too much unknown about its transmission dynamics.”
For months we have heard about how asymptomatic people, particularly the young, are unknowingly spreading the Wuhan coronavirus to vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with preexisting conditions. The World Health Organization on Monday said asymptomatic people spreading the disease is actually “very rare.”
“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said during a press conference. “It’s very rare.”
Originally, the WHO and the White House Coronavirus Task Force said that otherwise healthy people could contract the Wuhan coronavirus and pass it on to others without knowing it because they lack any symptoms, CNBC reported. The asymptomatic spread was the very reason most of the nation went on lockdown and social distancing was heavily emphasized.
According to Van Kerkhove, government officials are better off spending their time finding those who are infected and conducting contact tracing.
“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing,” she explained. “They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
She also said that cases that have been labeled “asymptomatic” aren’t actually that. Those cases are actually detectable but the person has mild symptoms.
Something is going on at the World Health Organization. They keep changing their tune. Just a couple days ago they said masks are no longer necessary in public. That was a little more than one week after saying masks should always be worn.
Why should anyone believe what the WHO says, especially when it comes to the Wuhan coronavirus? They have been all over the place on this virus. Remember: back in December, Taiwan made every effort to alert the WHO to the coronavirus outbreak, as evidenced by the release of an email.
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