Coronavirus spread by asymptomatic people 'appears to be rare,' WHO official says


Development the World Health Organization said yesterday that spread from a symptomatic individuals is very rare but this morning in case you haven't heard yet they walked it back so joining me now to discuss areas covered nineteen news is doctor Ashman Bresson epidemiologist at Columbia University and CEO of fountain house a community based mental and public health organization doctor son welcome back to WNYC thank you for joining us again hi Brian thanks for having can you clear up first to the best of your ability there's a symptomatic spread confusion that the WHL seems to have slowed I think our believe previously was you don't have to be symptomatic to spread the virus then yesterday they said no that's not really true then this morning they walked that back do you ever handle yet on what's going on here yeah it's an unfortunate miscommunication on the part of W. H. O. and it just goes to show you how important really clear actionable information is during a crisis and during a pandemic I think what's clear is that W. H. O. was leaning on a limited set of studies that mainly from China but a few of their quote unquote member states which basically showed that the most severely ill people symptomatic people were the ones meeting most of ours which makes perfect sense because if you're more severely ill you've got more of the virus circulating in your body and you're more prone to shed that virus in your in your respiratory secretions in your mucous membranes and all that so there's part of that that's correct but what where they cared even making a somewhat maybe overstating her or making a more definitive statement than they should have talking about something absolutely and really what they were saying is a relic what they were saying is what they should have said something like you know symptomatic people the more severely ill are more likely to transmit that doesn't mean that a symptomatic increase symptomatic people do not transmit and you know for example pre symptomatic transmission and one study in Singapore was forty eight percent pre symptomatic transmission and one study in China with sixty three percent so either the individual studies that the W. show really just doesn't have enough data to be making statements like that came to the sowing confusion and I think that's why you saw them walk it back this

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