Fact check: The governor of Georgia says we have just learned that people without symptoms could spread the coronavirus. Experts have been saying this for months

Apr 2, 2020 10:35 PM ET

“What we’ve been telling people from the CDC guidelines for weeks that if you feel bad you could stay at home, they might have infected people before they ever felt bad, but we only knew that in the last 24 Hours, ” said Kemp, a Republican.

First facts: It is not true that people “up to the past 24 hours” did not know that people without symptoms could infect people with coronavirus. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the disease control and prevention centers in Atlanta, said in mid-February that asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus was possible. In addition, studies in January showed that cases of coronavirus spread to people without symptoms.

Kemp’s spokesman for the press said the governor referred to an update the CDC made on March 30 of its guidelines, indicating that there is a higher risk that people without symptoms will transmit the virus. In the updated guidelines, the exposure risk period for people was changed from “onset of symptoms” to “48 hours before symptoms”.

When more was learned about the virus, several experts told CNN last month that it has become clear that transmission by asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people is responsible for more transmission than previously thought.

Although it wasn’t the first time he recognized it, Redfield confirmed this suspicion in an interview with NPR partner WABE on March 30, saying that “up to 25%” of those infected with coronavirus remain asymptomatic could. “One of [pieces of] Information that we have now pretty much confirmed is that a significant number of infected people actually remain asymptomatic, “said Redfield.
In an interview with CNN chief correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta of February 13 told Redfield that asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is possible and worrying, based on information from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There was good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, confirm asymptomatic transmission, and better manage the clinical spectrum of diseases in China,” said Redfield. “What we don’t know, however, is how much of the asymptomatic cases drive transmission.”

As of January 30, the CDC stated in its guidelines for the treatment of patients with coronavirus that “the clinical presentation of the reported cases of 2019 nCoV infection ranges in severity from asymptomatic infection or mild illness to severe or fatal Disease varies “.

Dr. has the potential for asymptomatic transmission Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, was first raised two months ago.

In late January, Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, told CNN: “After reading this paper, there is no doubt that asymptomatic transmission is taking place.” The paper Fauci is referring to is a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 30.
Public health experts have since said that the January study was flawed because a patient who was claimed to be asymptomatic actually had mild symptoms. However, the latest update from the CDC site also cites several studies from February and March that document the coronavirus in asymptomatic patients. The CDC guidelines clarify that “although the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people has been reported, the risk of transmission is considered to be greatest in symptomatic patients”.
Dr. White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx reiterated the CDC’s caution in a briefing on March 14 with other members of the Coronavirus Task Force, acknowledging that asymptomatic patients could spread the disease.

“Until you really understand how many people are asymptomatic and pass the virus on asymptomatic, it is better for the entire American public to know that the risk of a serious illness can be low,” said Birx, “but they could potentially spread the virus . ” Virus for others.

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