A top World Health Organization expert has tried to clear up “misunderstandings” about comments she made that were widely understood to suggest that people without COVID-19 symptoms rarely transmit the coronavirus.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the U.N. health agency’s technical lead on the virus pandemic, insisted Tuesday that she was referring only to a few studies, not a complete picture, in the comments she made Monday. Van Kerkhove’s remarks on Monday raised confusion and questions among outside experts who have recommended that people wear masks to try to prevent the virus from spreading.

Research from genetic-testing giant 23andMe Inc. found that people with blood type O may be less likely to be infected with Covid-19. Scientists have been looking at genetic factors to try to determine why some people who contract the new coronavirus experience no symptoms, while others become gravely ill, and the company found differences in a gene that influences a person’s blood type can affect a person’s susceptibility to the virus.

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