Natalie E. Dean, PhD+ Your Authors @nataliexdean Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at @UF specializing in emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design. @HarvardBiostats PhD. Tweets my own. Jun. 08, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

My take on @WHO press conference on asymptomatic transmission - sounds like a misunderstanding. WHO is drawing a distinction between transmission from people who are fully asymptomatic (never develop symptoms) and pre-symptomatic (haven’t developed symptoms yet). 1/3

We haven’t seen a lot of evidence of fully asymptomatic people transmitting to many others (though admittedly these tracing studies are hard to do). Pre-symptomatic transmission, on the other hand, is why SARS-CoV-2 has been harder to control than SARS-CoV. 2/3

If fully asymptomatic transmission is rare, this could impact how we monitor exposed contacts (how long to quarantine). But otherwise, it seems more of scientific than practical interest. People without current symptoms could be infectious. Act accordingly. 3/3

Adding this good thread.

To clarify, I’m not defending their confusing communications! It’s just that I don’t see a paradigm shift in the science. But I agree with others that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. These studies are very hard to do, making it particularly hard to quantify.


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