KATHMANDU: While the mystery of the legendary coronavirus is still unsolved in many aspects, doctors and scientists remain confused with World Health Organization claiming that spreading of coronavirus infection from asymptomatic patients is ‘rare’.
Epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on coronavirus pandemic, said that many countries going over contact tracing to identify asymptomatic cases were not finding further spread of the virus. “It is very rare,” she said early in June.
Disease experts have commented over the statement by the WHO and questioned Van Kerkhove’s sources which they said to have found none.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci, renowned American physician and immunologist, clarified in a June 10 interview with ABC news channel that WHO is wrong in saying so.
He explains that there is quite a difference in asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread. While the asymptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who do not have symptoms and will not get symptoms later as well, pre-symptomatic spread will eventually bring symptoms later without showing early symptoms and possess a threat to those infected by it.
According to Dr Fauci, it recorded that 25% to 45% of infected people likely don’t have symptoms.
“And we know from epidemiological studies they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they’re without symptoms,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US.
And while the public might use the word “asymptomatic” to describe any infected person who doesn’t have symptoms, the bigger concern may be an infection from “pre-symptomatic” carriers.
Furthermore, the reports from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 40% of coronavirus transmission happens before people feel sick.
Researchers exclaim that the rapid geographic spread of the virus and containment of this virus will be particularly challenging and will pose problems for governments as they seek to lift lockdowns.