WHO says coronavirus can spread one to three days before symptoms start

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The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2020.

Chen Junxia | Xinhua via Getty

World Health Organization officials say the coronavirus can spread to asymptomatic patients about one to three days before symptoms start.

“It is very important to note that even if you are pre-symptomatic, you still need to transmit through droplets. You always need to have these infectious particles coming out of your nose and your mouth, “Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO lead team on coronavir, said at a press conference on Monday organization in Geneva.

She said models of the epidemic suggest that there are “a large number of unrecognized transmissions.” She stressed that these were unrecognized and non-asymptomatic patients.

“I say we could miss people who are infected, but we miss them because of certain surveillance strategies,” she said.

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO emergency program, said there may be more people “unknowingly infected”.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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