CDC says it wrongly issued guidelines for coronavirus to spread by air and travel beyond 6 feet

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it had falsely issued guidelines that the coronavirus spreads through airborne particles that can stay airborne and travel beyond six feet.The updated guidelines, posted on the CDC’s website on Friday, also recommended that people use air purifiers to reduce airborne germs indoors to prevent the spread of disease, according to Reuters.

“A draft of the proposed changes to these recommendations was mistakenly posted on the agency’s official website,” the CDC said on Monday. “The CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process is complete, the update language will be published. ”

Earlier today, the World Health Organization said it contacted the CDC about the change in focus.

The WHO has seen no “new evidence” on airborne particles and is checking with the CDC to “better understand” the exact nature of the change, said Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the program. ‘WHO for health emergencies, at a press conference. at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

The WHO has said that Covid-19 is spread primarily through respiratory droplets that pass when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes. Studies have shown that the new coronavirus could be spread through aerosols in the air, and the WHO has said it is monitoring “emerging evidence” of possible airborne transmission.

The international agency’s position “on this remains the same,” said Ryan, “and we’ve always said going back months and months on the potential of different types of roots for transmission and in particular depending on the context, proximity, intensity. , duration and potential of different forms of transmission. ”

The update comes days after the CDC rescinded controversial coronavirus testing guidelines that said people exposed to someone who was infected but had no symptoms “did not necessarily need a test.”

Many public health experts have criticized the CDC’s change in testing guidelines in August for appearing to downplay the importance of screening people who do not have symptoms but who could spread the virus.

Studies have suggested that the virus can spread through the air. A study published by researchers at the National Institutes of Health earlier this year found that coronavirus particles released while speaking can stay in the air for 8 to 14 minutes.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Covid-19 was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours.

The CDC and WHO recommend that people wear face masks. Studies suggest that masks can serve as a useful barrier to the spread of infection.

– CNBC’s Will Feuer contributed to this report.

This is the latest news. Please come back for updates.

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