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Former Washington Journalist
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The public health professionals tracking the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic believe that there is a sizeable population of asymptomatic people infected with the virus who are playing a role in spreading the pandemic, according to Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
There have been more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 53,000.
In the United States, there have been 245,442 reported cases of COVID-19, with 6,099 deaths, according to the most recent figures.
“And we all believe that there is a greater proportion of people who are asymptomatic, and that may correspond with age, with greater number of asymptomatic cases and people under 40,” Dr Birx said. “So both the severity of disease increases with age, but asymptomatic potential may also decrease with age, so it is more than the younger age group. So we believe that there could be significant transmission from asymptomatic individuals.”
Also, nations which strictly enforce their stay-at-home policies are more effective at flattening the curve, so to speak, or slowing down the spread of the virus, Dr Birx said.
“So we know from the countries around the globe that really enforced their stay-at-home policies have really flattened the curve. We see it happening in Italy, we see it happening in Spain, and we think that is incredibly important,” she said. “It’s why the president put out the guidelines, those are guidelines for all of Americans, speaking directly to Americans past their local governments and state governments to say, ‘Please, understand you need to stay home.'”
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