Now the CDC takes down coronavirus airborne transmission guidance

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.

CDC takes down warning on airborne COVID spread.

The now-withdrawn guidance, posted on the agency’s website on Friday, recommended that people use air purifiers to reduce airborne germs indoors to avoid the disease from spreading.

“CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted,” the agency said.

The CDC did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on when the guidance will be updated.

The health agency had said that COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet.

Presently, the agency’s guidance says the virus mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which can land in the mouth or nose of people nearby.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
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The virus spreads easily between people

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious. In general, the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

The virus may be spread in other ways

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

Spread between animals and people

  • At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low. Learn about COVID-19 and pets and other animals.
  • It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Learn what you should do if you have pets.
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Protect yourself and others

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump took exception to comments from the CDC director, who said masks might be even more effective than a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that could be broadly rolled out in mid-2021.

That followed a New York Times report that guidance about novel coronavirus testing posted last month on the CDC’s website was not written by the agency’s scientists and was posted over their objections.

The World Health Organization has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday.

The agency still believes the disease is primarily spread through droplets, but that in enclosed crowded spaces with inadequate ventilation, aerosol transmission can occur, said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program.