HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After the World Health Organization released contradictory comments on asymptomatic coronavirus patients, a Houston health expert believes it was taken out of context, and people still need to be careful.
After studying COVID-19 for months, some neighbors hope scientists can offer more.
"If it's still safe? Should we even be out?" asked Spring resident Cierra Cano.
ABC13 took these questions to Baylor College of Medicine's Doctor Peter Hotez. We asked his thoughts on the World Health Organization stating asymptomatic spread is very rare.
Hotez said people shouldn't overreact to the comment because they're still learning about the virus.
"Everything is under the microscope right now because people are so jazzed up over COVID-19," Hotez said. "An offhand remark made at a meeting got amplified and magnified."
Hotez also said they've learned more about the virus in terms of what it does to the body. He said it's no longer thought of as just a respiratory disease.
"One of the big devastating ones is its ability to induce blood clots," Hotez said.
People also want to know if there's progress in fight with the disease.
"What is the status of the vaccine?" Katy resident Arnold Erazo asked. "Are we closer to a vaccine?"
Hotez said progress is being made, but he said it will still be awhile before a vaccine is available.
"The earliest I see vaccines being available is in the middle of 2021," Hotez explained. "Even then, it would be a world-speed record."
Even with a vaccine, Hotez said practicing social distancing and wearing masks may have to continue until the vaccine proves effective.
He said there's also improvement on therapeutics, which include remdesivir, plasma therapy and monoclonal antibodies treatment.