The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it has falsely published guidelines suggesting the new coronavirus is spreading through the air.
“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations has been incorrectly posted on the agency’s official website,” the agency said in a statement. CNBC.
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 posted. ‘
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was contacting the CDC about the update earlier on Monday.
It comes days after the CDC changed its controversial recommendations that people who have been asymptomatically exposed to COVID-19 refrain from testing.
The CDC has acknowledged ‘growing evidence’ that coronavirus is airborne, meaning the virus can linger in the air and infect people more than six feet from an affected person (file image)
Airborne viruses “ are among the most contagious and easily spread, ” the CDC had warned, advising people to use air purifiers to clean the air in indoor spaces, in addition to wearing masks, washing hands, and isolating when you get sick. are.
The agency said the virus spreads “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosol cans, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.”
Earlier, the CDC advisory said coronavirus is spread “ through droplets of breath produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. ”
“There is growing evidence that droplets and suspended particles can float in the air and be inhaled by others,” says the guidance.
‘[These particles] travel distances of more than 1.8 meters (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes).
“In general, indoor environments without proper ventilation increase this risk.”
The move comes after the World Health Organization amended its own guidelines in July to recognize that it is ‘possible’ to become infected through airborne transmission.
However, both the CDC and WHO still say that close and prolonged contact with an infected person is the most common way the disease spreads.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the virus can survive in the air on much smaller droplets that are even expelled when a person breathes.
Because the droplets are so small, they do not immediately fall to the ground, but remain suspended in the air where they can be inhaled by others.
The fact that the drops linger also means that they can drift farther than six feet from an infected person, potentially passing the disease on to someone who has never had close contact with them.
Evidence that the virus is in the air will alarm world leaders who had based their prevention strategies on the assumption that the virus would not be able to spread over long distances (photo: social remote reporters at a Joe Biden gathering)
Measles and tuberculosis can be spread via aerosols and are considered highly contagious.
Wearing masks helps prevent airborne diseases – as world governments increasingly take action as science changes.
The WHO changed its guidelines after 239 scientists in 32 countries wrote to the UN agency asking it to acknowledge growing evidence that the virus is in the air.
A professor who signed the document said there are concerns about labeling the virus in the air because it could cause panic.
Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO’s technical leader in infection prevention and control, acknowledged at the time that evidence of airborne transmission emerged, but that it still needed careful study.
“The possibility of air transmission in public environments – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated environments that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” she said.
“However, the evidence needs to be collected and interpreted, and we will continue to support this.”
The CDC has updated its advice to recommend the use of indoor air purifiers to filter out virus particles, after already advising people to use face masks (photo, CDC Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield)
The new coronavirus, or Covid-19, was first discovered in Wuhan, China late last year, when it caused a cluster of infections around a fish market.
Since then, it has quickly spread to almost every country on Earth, infecting more than 31 million people, according to a WHO census.
The US is the world’s worst hit country with 6.8 million infections, although India – at 5.4 million – has the fastest growing outbreak in the world and will catch up in the coming weeks.
According to official counts, nearly 1 million people worldwide have died from the disease, although this is widely believed to be an underestimate.
Persistent problems with testing, even in developed countries, mean that often only patients with serious infections can have a diagnosis confirmed.
This is important because many patients are believed to have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
These are believed to be the majority of cases, although the evidence surrounding asymptomatic infections remains unclear.
The US has also suffered nearly 200,000 deaths from the virus, which is by far the highest global total. The second highest is Brazil, which has registered 136,000.