Fauci: Half of Those Infected May Have No Symptoms

Estimate is twice as high as CDC figure from last week
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2020 6:22 AM CDT
Fauci: Half of Those Infected May Have No Symptoms
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House Sunday, April 5.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Last week, the CDC chief told NPR that as many as 25% of people infected with coronavirus may not show any symptoms. Dr. Robert Redfield's estimate may have been too low by a lot. “It’s somewhere between 25% and 50%,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci during the White House coronavirus briefing on Sunday. Fauci acknowledged, however, that so much is unknown at this point that his range is just an educated guess as well. Only extensive testing will provide the real answer, he added. Still, the danger of infected, asymptomatic people is part of the reason the CDC is now recommending that everybody wear face coverings in public, reports the New York Times. (See how to make one in 45 seconds.)

Fauci's estimate is in line with new data from Iceland, the Italian town of Vo, and the Diamond Prince cruise ship that suggests half of infected people are asymptomatic, reports Fox News. People in those three places were tested whether they showed symptoms or not. In a related development, China last week changed its reporting standards to include asymptomatic people for the first time, and Reuters reports that the numbers are rising. On Monday, China's National Health Commission reported 78 new asymptomatic cases, up from 47 on Sunday. Worry is growing because China on Wednesday will allow people to leave the city of Wuhan, where the world outbreak was first detected, for the first time since January. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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