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CDC retracts coronavirus airborne transmission guidance, says it was posted in error

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The United States (US) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has retracted its earlier published COVID-19 guideline in which it claimed that coronavirus commonly spreads “through droplets and airborne particles.”

The CDC had on Monday issued a correction on its website, stating that it had posted a draft version which was titled ‘updated guideline’ in error.

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” CDC said in an update shared on its website  Monday evening.

“CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the updated language will be posted.”

While the update is silent on the airborne aspect of the virus, the new message on the page now says the virus is “thought to spread mainly from person-to-person” from close contact and “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.”

It also warned that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms, adding that the virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza.

However, public health experts and scientists have argued about the possibility of COVID-19 to be airborne.

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“When it comes to COVID-19, the evidence overwhelmingly supports aerosol transmission, and there are no strong arguments against it,” says Jose-Luis Jimenez, a Professor of Chemistry and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Identified as a third potential pathway of transmission, it has been submitted that COVID-19 can spread through aerosols, also known as airborne.

 

 

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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