“difficult for asymptomatics to transmit the disease”

The World Health Organization, in the press briefing held yesterday said that asymptomatic patients are not very contagious and it is rare that they can spread Coronavirus to other people, precisely because of the absence of symptoms such as fever, dry cough and breathing difficulties.

The announcement was made by epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director for the ongoing pandemic, according to which “it is rare for an asymptomatic person to transmit the virus”. This is not an absolute novelty, as also other experts of the World Health Organization in recent months have argued that the main way to contract the virus is represented by close contacts with symptomatic people in closed places such as houses, offices, churches, hospitals and environments where the air flow is limited.

The statements on the doctor gave rise to a debate between the experts, but it is good to specify that Van Kerkhove herself during the call stressed that the data in possession are not yet completely reliable as it is an entirely new virus, not all aspects are known: “we have an important number of reports from countries that are tracing the infections in detail, also following the asymptomatic and their tight contracts, without finding any secondary transmission. This means that the chances that asymptomatics can transmit the virus is very rare“.

However, as noted by many, if asymptomatics do not pose a real threat to the spread of Covid-19, the use of masks is practically useless as local authorities could circumvent the problem by requiring use only of those who exhibit the symptoms of the disease.

Just the use of the masks has been subject to a revision by the WHO: the general manager Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has in fact observed that it is important to wear them in areas where it is difficult to maintain the interpersonal distance of one meter.

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