The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that people can sometimes be infected with the coronavirus through airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation.
The long-awaited update to the agency Web page explaining how the virus spreads represents an official acknowledgment of growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.
“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than six feet away,” the updated Web page states. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising. the updated Web page states.”
But a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscores how wrong those assertions are.
Children can catch, suffer and die from the coronavirus, according to the report released Monday. Between March 1 and Sept. 19, at least 277,285 schoolchildren in 38 states tested positive for the virus.
And 51 of them — including 20 children between ages 5 and 11 — died of COVID-19. In all, 3,189 children between 5 and 17 were hospitalized.
School-aged children with asthma and other chronic lung diseases accounted for roughly 55% of those who tested positive, and almost 10%
Evidence is mounting that the virus can linger in the air.
September 21, 2020, 11:41 PM
• 6 min read
When the CDC updated its website on Friday to acknowledge that airborne transmission of the coronavirus beyond six feet may play a role in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly indoors, the update was hailed by infectious disease experts interviewed by ABC News as an overdue step.
But on Monday morning, the agency took down that language, saying it was posted in “error.” Despite the CDC guidance whiplash, experts say it’s time to recognize that airborne transmission beyond six feet is possible — while continuing to emphasize that close contact within six feet is still the main way the virus is transmitted.
Scientists maintain that close, person-to-person contact is a main driver of the virus’ spread. This transmission is primarily via respiratory droplets
In language posted Friday and now removed, CDC said Covid-19 most commonly spread between people who are in close contact with one another, and went on to say it’s known to spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes.”
These particles can cause infection when “inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs,” the agency said. “This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the page said in the Friday update, which has since been removed. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”
Atlanta and Georgia have much at stake in the integrity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the past several months, the integrity of the CDC has been under scrutiny with the disclosure that several of its positions and guidelines have been been subject to political interference.
Unfortunately, the Atlanta-based CDC is in an awkward position of having to balance its scientific reputation and protect itself from political influence out of Washington, D.C.
A view of the CDC’s Tom Harkin Global Communications Center in Atlanta (Photo by James Gathany for the CDC)
In conversations over the weekend with several leading public health experts and business leaders, there was universal agreement that science must outweigh the politics for the long-term health of our nation and the globe.
“This administration has injected politics into public health far more than any other administration that I’ve experienced in 20