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Aerosol transmission: CDC recognizes - and withdraws - recommendation

2020-09-22T16:32:06.123Z

The transmission of coronavirus by aerosol is something that the World Health Organization had already warned a few months ago.



Model shows the spread of covid-19 in the air 2:16

(CNN Spanish) -

The transmission of coronavirus by aerosol is something that the World Health Organization had already warned a few months ago.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a recommendation that followed the same made by the WHO.

However, days later, the publication was withdrawn.

Why did they do it?

Dr. Elmer Huerta explains to us in this episode.

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform, or read the transcript below.

Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information on the new coronavirus.

Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.

Today, we will clarify the position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as CDC for its acronym in English, on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by aerosols.

On Friday, September 18, the CDC released an update recognizing that transmission of the coronavirus can also occur through aerosols.

Given the spread of the disease in the United States and other parts of the world, that update was seen as excellent news.

The publication would allow to alert the population that the coronavirus is not only transmitted through thick drops of secretions produced by coughing and sneezing.

But it can also be transmitted by microscopic drops of secretions, called aerosols, which are also produced when talking, singing and shouting.

CDC and aerosol transmission

The recommendations of the CDC - one of the most prestigious public health organizations in the world - are closely followed by the global scientific community.

But, now it turns out that just three days after that release, the CDC has abruptly withdrawn it.

"A draft version of the proposed changes to these recommendations was mistakenly posted on the agency's official website," a spokesperson said when asked.

CDC is updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Once this process is complete, the update language will be published. '

A federal official familiar with the matter denied that the change was for political reasons, adding that someone pressed the submit button by mistake.

The point is that the transmission of the new coronavirus is already an accepted scientific fact.

The transmission of covid-19 through the air, according to the WHO

In the episode of July 13, we told them that, as a result of an open letter from a group of 239 scientists from 32 countries addressed to the WHO, where they asked to take into account the research that indicated that covid-19 could be transmitted by aerosols scattered in enclosed spaces, the WHO admitted on July 9, although very cautiously by the way, that if adequate protection is not used, it is possible that the new coronavirus can be spread through the air, in the form of aerosols, and that it expected more studies to corroborate this possibility.

That study was the subject of the July 31 episode, in which we described research published in Nature Scientific Reports by researchers at the University of Nebraska, which suggested definitive proof that the new coronavirus can be spread through the aerosol sprays.

That time, the researchers not only found viral particles in the air and on room surfaces where the infected people had been, but also in their personal belongings.

What the Research Says

Contamination by the virus was in all kinds of samples, from room air, from the surface of window frames, from personal items such as cell phones and remote controls for televisions, adjacent medical devices and even toilets.

In addition, the researchers were able to isolate the virus and grow it in cells.

Proving with this that the viral particles found could be capable of causing disease.

This important research was in addition to previous studies, which indicated that the new coronavirus could also be transmitted by aerosols.

They were included in the letter that the group of scientists had sent to the WHO.

Those studies included the well-known case of a choir in Washington state, in which a single infected person infected 52 of 61 members 

(32 diagnosed and 20 probable)

, resulting in three hospitalizations and two deaths.

There was also the study in which an infected person infected ten people from three families, sitting at different tables in a restaurant in China, and the contagion that occurred during Zumba classes in a gym in South Korea.

We think that the fact that the new coronavirus is transmitted through the air in closed spaces should not be a cause for alarm.

Rather, it should make us strengthen our prevention measures, which should include:

  • Avoid meetings in closed places without adequate ventilation,

  • Use of masks when being in closed places and with people,

  • Ventilate the rooms,

  • Keep a distance of at least two meters between person and person.

Political interference?

Finally, political interference with the CDC is in doubt.

That's because on Friday, the CDC also updated its coronavirus testing guide, recommending that anyone who has been in contact with an infected person should be tested.

According to two CNN sources, a controversial earlier version recommending otherwise was not written by CDC scientists and was posted on their website without the normal scientific review process. 

Furthermore, according to information gathered by CNN, it was reported last week that communications officials from the US Secretary of Health had been under pressure to change the language of the prestigious weekly scientific reports published by the CDC, apparently to not undermine the political message of President Donald Trump.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus?

Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes.

You can find me at @DrHuerta.

If you think this podcast is helpful, help others find it by rating and reviewing it on your favorite podcast app.

We will be back tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to get the latest episode on your account.

And for the most up-to-date information, you can always go to CNNEspanol.com/coronavirus.

Thanks for your attention.

If you have any questions you can send them to Dr. Elmer Huerta via Twitter.

You can also head over to CNNE.com/coronaviruspodcast for all episodes of our “Coronavirus: Reality vs. Reality” podcast.

fiction".

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Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2020-09-22

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