Misleading claims about asymptomatic spread

Claims are spreading on Facebook and Twitter that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is not real, based on a research paper published in Nature in November. The paper analyzed the spread of COVID-19 in Wuhan, finding low asymptomatic spread. However, researchers stated that strict measures public health measures were successful in reducing the virulence of COVID in Wuhan and that asymptomatic people in Wuhan may have low viral loads – therefore, the finding cannot be applied to countries with large, active outbreaks. Throughout the pandemic scientists have been working to understand the risk of transmission by asymptomatic carriers, and have continued to find that asymptomatic spreading contributes to the ongoing case numbers.

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