WHO clears up the Misunderstanding on Asymptomatic Transmission. Phew!
If you read my last post, you know how relieved I am that the World Health organization came out quickly and cleared up the mess they made on Monday by stating that it is “very rare” for asymptomatic transmission to occur. The WHO cleared up the statement saying that asymptomatic transmission does in fact occur. This is something that we thought we knew, so it is reassuring to have this clarity.
As dental professionals, we cannot get caught up in headlines. Do some digging into the sound bites that don’t make sense. Do not follow popular opinion, form your own opinion.
Harvard Global Health Institute’s response to Monday’s WHO press conference: “All of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In fact, some evidence suggests that people may be most infectious in the days before they become symptomatic — that is, in the presymptomatic phase when they feel well, have no symptoms, but may be shedding substantial amounts of virus.”
There is still so much we do not know about this virus and how to treat it. Stay up to date on the information but decide for yourself what to do with it. And when you go back to work, practice safely.
Allison Alexander DMD
PS - I recommend reading ‘WHO walks back comments on asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus from Axios and I liked ‘We don’t actually have that answer yet’: WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19 from Stat News.
I found these bulletpoints from the Axios article interesting:
- Several studies have shown that asymptomatic spread exists, including one from the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed a likelihood that approximately 40% to 45% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 will remain asymptomatic and can spread the virus unknowingly.
- Harvard's Global Health Institute wrote in a memo responding to the WHO's comments that "all of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV2."
- The director of the institute Ashish Jha wrote in a Twitter thread that asymptomatic spread is the "Achille's heal of this outbreak," and called on the WHO to provide data when making statements that could affect public behavior.