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The senior US health adviser said Wednesday there was no evidence to suggest that transmission from an asymptomatic person to an infected person was uncommon.
It comes after the WHO walked back on its claims earlier this week that it is uncommon for aysymptomatic coronavirus patients to spread the virus after Harvard University scientists criticized the agency for creating confusion.
Dr Anthony Fauci has slammed the World Health Organization for claiming that Covid-19 transmission was ‘very rare’ among asymptomatic patients
Dr. Fauci blasted the WHO’s claims on Wednesday, saying: ‘What happened the other day is that a member of the WHO was saying that transmission from an asymptomatic person to an infected person was very rare.
‘They walked that back because there’s no evidence to indicate that’s the case.
‘And in fact, the evidence that we have, given the percentage of people, which is about 25, 45 percent of the totality of infected people, likely are without symptom,’ he said.
‘And we know from epidemiological studies that they can transmit to someone who is uninfected, even when they’re without symptoms.
On Monday, the WHO said it’s very rare that asymptomatic people spread coronavirus and that they are not a ‘main driver’ of new infection. Pictured: Dr Maria Van Kerkhove during a press conference, June 8
‘So, to make a statement, to say that’s a rare event, was not correct, and that’s the reason why the WHO walked that back.’
On Monday, the UN health agency said it had doubts that the virus was difficult contain due to people without signs such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
WHO officials said that symptomatic spread can occur, but it isn’t the main avenue by which the disease is being transmitted.
Harvard’s Global Health institute says the WHO ‘created confusion’ with its statement that those without symptoms are not readily spreading the virus. Pictured: Mourners arrive for a public visitation for George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas, June 8
‘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 conference.
‘It’s very rare.’
But researchers from Harvard say that a multitude of evidence suggests those without symptoms can, and easily do, spread coronavirus.
Later on Monday, the WHO called the statement a ‘misunderstanding,’ and admitted that people with no symptoms do, in fact, spread the disease.