WHO clarifies statements made Monday about “very rare” asymptomatic transmission, calls it a misunderstanding

Asymptomatic Transmission?

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The World Health Organization Tuesday morning is clarifying comments made by the technical lead for COVID saying asymptomatic transmission is “very rare.”

During the WHO press conference on Monday Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said they have a number of reports from countries that aren’t finding secondary transmission of the virus.

Tuesday morning the WHO went live on social media to clarify comments made by Dr. Kerkhove on Monday morning.

“I think what’s important, related to transmission is what we know, importantly what we don’t know, and what we’re trying to do to really understand this complex question,” said Dr. Kerkhove.

She says they don’t know yet how many people across the world don’t develop COVID-19 symptoms. They do have estimates that suggest between 6% of the population and 41% of population may be infected and don’t have symptoms.

“We do know that some people who are asymptomatic or some people who don’t have symptoms can transmit the virus,” said Dr. Kerkhove.

Dr. Kerkhove says she was responding to a question at the press conference on Monday when she referenced the “very rare” statement in regards to asymptomatic transmission.

“What I was referring to is a subset of studies,” said Dr. Kerkhove.

Kerkhove calls the transmission from asymptomatic cases a major unknown. The organization has groups investigating to better understand what’s going on. Dr. Kerkhove says a group who is doing research estimates that 40% of transmission may be due to asymptomatic cases.

You can watch the full press conference from Tuesday here:

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