Covid 19: America’s health authorities now consider that the virus can be spread by airborne transmission
On Monday 5th October, under the heading How Covid is Spread, the website of the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) and Prevention published a statement updating guidance on possible modes of transmission of the SARS-Cov2 virus, also known as Covid-19.
The CDC confirmed, in line with an open letter sent by 239 scientists to the World Health Organisation last July, that airborne transmission or contamination via aerosols should be taken into consideration during this “second wave” of the pandemic.
Respect physical distancing to reduce exposure to droplets
The CDC restates, beforehand, that the highest risk still results from being physically close to an infected person. The droplets exhaled in such cases are the main potential mode of propagation. Which is why protective measures like social distancing must be adhered to and, in case of doubt…always identifying and then tracing potential contacts to prevent chains of transmission.
This, with tests, is the cornerstone of France’s strategy, similar to the one successfully deployed by South Korea, for example, last spring.
In poorly ventilated indoor spaces, there is a risk of airborne transmission
“Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area,” the statement from the CDC explains.
“In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise.
Such environments and activities may contribute to the build-up of virus-carrying particles. ”
What are the CDC’s current guidelines on combating the virus?
The recommendations published on the website of the CDC, which are based on current scientific knowledge, remain unchanged and are in line with the current protocol:
“People can protect themselves from the Covid-19 virus by:
• Staying at least 1.8 m away from others
• Wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth
• Washing their hands frequently
• Cleaning touched surfaces often (editor’s note: to prevent fomite transmission)
• By staying home when sick, etc. ”