(The Center Square) – Asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus appears to be "very rare," a World Health Organization (WHO) official said Monday.
“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 at a news briefing. “It’s very rare.”
Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, WHO warned that even individuals who weren't experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 could still have it and spread it to others. That in part led governors and local officials to put in place tighter restrictions on individuals and businesses.
On Tuesday, WHO officials attempted to clarify Monday's comment.
It was not the “intent of WHO to say there is a new or different policy,” Mike Ryan, head of emergency programs for WHO, said, according to The Washington Post. “There is still too much unknown about this virus and still too much unknown about its transmission dynamics.”