“From the data we have, it still seems rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits to a secondary individual,” said Van Kerkhove.
More research and data are needed to “really answer” the question of whether the coronavirus can be spread widely by asymptomatic carriers, added the WHO official.
“We have a number of country reports that do a very detailed contact search,” she said. “They follow asymptomatic cases. They follow contacts. And they don’t find secondary transmission. It’s very rare. ”
Although health officials in countries like Britain, the United States, and elsewhere have warned that COVID-19 is spread by people who do not have symptoms, WHO maintains that this type of spread does not is not a driver of the pandemic and likely accounts for about six percent of its spread, at most.
Many reports suggest that the virus spreads to people who do not have symptoms, but many are either anecdotal or model-based.