The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday withdrew its guidance on the transmission of the coronavirus through aerosols, saying the draft recommendation was posted in error.
“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” it said in a message on the website. “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 update language will be posted.”
In its update posted on the website on Friday, the health agency had said that there was a “growing evidence” that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and can travel beyond six feet. Apart from respiratory droplets, the virus can also spread through small particles, such as those in aerosols, which are produced even when a person breathes.
The revised CDC guidelines do not mention anything about aerosols. Now, the website says that the infection spreads mainly from person-to-person because of close contact under six feet, through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes that can land on the mouths and noses of people nearby.
The CDC had changed its language on asymptomatic transmission. The website had updated its guidance to state that “people who are infected but do not show symptoms can spread the virus to others.” It has been reverted to “Covid-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.”
The health agency had also emphasised on maintaining social connections and taking care of one’s mental health. The updated has now been removed.
The World Health Organisation has not also changed its policy on the aerosol transmission of the infection, the global health body said, according to Reuters.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, stated that the health body believed that the coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets but aerosol transmission can occur in enclosed crowded spaces with inadequate ventilation.
“In these outbreaks, aerosol transmission, particularly in these indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out,” it had suggested.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.12 crore people and killed 9,63,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries is more than 2.1 crore.