Many scientists and health experts have been warning for months that COVID-19 can“It is increasingly evident that droplets and airborne particles can remain airborne and be breathed in by others, and travel distances of more than 6 feet (for example, during , not just through large droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing nearby. , in restaurants, or in fitness classes), ”the guidelines updated, then removed from the CDC, said. In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk. ”
But on Monday, the CDC again updated the page to remove information about the risk of airborne transmission, with a warning at the top: “A draft of the proposed changes to these recommendations was mistakenly posted on the official website of the agency ”, the opinion read. “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. “
Asked by CBS News what the problems were with the language on airborne transmission, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said, “It’s poorly written. The main thing is that aerosol transmission is possible, but not the main means of spread. “
The page still says the virus is spread “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks,” but information on tiny airborne droplets like aerosols has been removed. The page also no longer lists breathing as a means of transmitting the virus.
Instead, the page reads, “These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.” Monday’s update also says COVID-19 spreads primarily between people who have close contact (within 6 feet), and understands that it can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms. .
In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizedas a possible cause of COVID-19 infections. The WHO recognition came after 239 scientists signed an open letter about the risk of airborne transmission.
Very few diseases – tuberculosis, chickenpox and measles – have been found to be transmissible by aerosols. However, Japan, for example, had been operating for months on the assumption that tiny aerosolized particles in crowded environments fueled the spread of the coronavirus. In February, Japan adopted a strategy to fighttelling residents to avoid “the three Cs” – cramped spaces, crowded areas and close conversation.
The CDC guidelines also explain that the closer and longer a person with COVID-19 is with others, the greater the risk of spreading the virus to those people.
The CDC also updated its test predictions on Friday after nearly a month ofDepartment of Health and Human Services officials supplanting CDC scientists. In late August, the CDC’s website was quietly revised to indicate that people who had been exposed to someone with coronavirus but were not showing symptoms might not need testing. This caused an uproar among medical experts because to others.
The new guide now says: “Due to the importance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guide further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic individuals, including close contacts of a person with SARS infection- CoV-2 documented. ”
Many public health experts have long recommended that even asymptomatic people should be tested if they suspect they have come into contact with an infected person. In July, a model released by the National Academy of Sciences, showed that about 50% of coronavirus cases can be transmitted by people who do not have symptoms.
Lucy Craft contributed to this report.