Need to See the Data

I follow the COVID epidemic as closely as I can.  The longer the epidemic goes on, the more we learn, but at times we head down roads that are dead ends.  Great news one day can be debunked the next.

Recently I reported on an article in the Annals of Medicine that posits that 40% to 45%% of COVID cases are transmitted by asymptomatic carriers.

Prevalence of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Yesterday, the World Health Organization said asymptomatic transmission is rare.

Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says

“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 briefing from the United Nations agency’s Geneva headquarters. “It’s very rare.”

This, if true, is great news.  It would enable us to focus on symptomatic people and make isolation far less onerous.

Other experts are asking to see WHO’s data.

Wait… so, asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus is actually ‘very rare’?

This from Ashish Jha, the head of Baylor’s School of Public Health.

“such a statement by @WHO should be accompanied by data. Asymptomatic spread is Achille’s heel of this outbreak. Would love to be wrong. Need to see data.”

I’m not taking my mask off yet.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *