It’s the latest flip flop from the NGO…
- WHO says asymptomatic carriers actually not that infectious
- Cali reports statewide decline in cases while LA County cases near 64k
- NY State reports 0.2% jump in new cases as NYC reopens
- Cuomo says central NY region ready to enter ‘Phase 2’
- India reports another record jump in new cases with ~10k
- Pakistan hospitals running out of beds as cases pass 100k
- Cuomo holds briefing at 1130amET
- Florida reports slowdown following last week’s spike in new cases
- NYC enters ‘Phase 1’ reopening
- New Zealand declared ‘coronavirus free’ by PM
- Global coronavirus infections passes 7mil; US outbreak nears 2 mil
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Update (1436ET): Following a report in today’s WSJ noting new data showing SARS-CoV-2 spreads more quickly in sparsely populated areas where homes are more crowded (perhaps because more extended family members live together) than densely populated but affluent areas like Manhattan and North Brooklyn, the World Health Organization has just announced another epic flip flop.
In an announcement that highlights once again how little scientists understand about the new coronavirus (as the NYT’s Nick Kristoff once noted, viruses are “full of puzzles”), the WHO announced that asymptomatic carriers of the virus apparently don’t infect nearly as many others as we once thought.
Early evidence indicated that the virus could spread via person-to-person contact, even if the carrier didn’t have symptoms. But WHO officials now say that while asymptomatic spread is certainly possible, it’s not the main route of transmission.
“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 Monday briefing from the WHO’s Geneva headquarters. “It’s very rare.”
Of course, if scientists continue to see data showing asymptomatic spread isn’t a main factor in transmission, it could have dramatic implications for containment policy, including diminishing the need for social distancing, and allowing students and workers to return to the workplace in much larger numbers.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.