The CDC states that COVID can be transmitted through aerosols. But why now? Weight in experts.

Left-handed teacher Lilia Guerrero instructs her kindergarten class on social distancing in Los Angeles. (Via Getro Molina / Los Angeles Times Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised eyebrows late last week when the organization acknowledged that COVID-19 is also an airborne disease – information that has been suggested by the scientific community for nearly a year.

In be brief Updated on Friday, the CDC says people are most likely to contract COVID-19 when they are within 6 feet of an infected person. However, the organization says, infected people can release “very fine droplets and aerosol particles” that form when those droplets dry up. The CDC says those drops are “small enough that they can remain suspended in the air for minutes.”

And, the agency confirms, people have become infected in this way. “These transmission events include the presence of an infectious person having the virus exit the house for an extended time – more than 15 minutes and in some cases hours – enough to spread the infection to people due to virus concentrations in the air space More than six feet away, and in some cases for people passing through the place immediately after the infectious person has left, reads “Brief. However, the CDC also states,” The risk of infection is three to six of the infectious source. Is the largest within feet where the concentration of these very fine droplets and particles is greatest. “

Related: dr. Fauci Discusses Airborne COVID Broadcasting

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This is not necessarily new information – research published in the journal Environment International In November, it also suggested that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be aerosolized, with scientists saying it is “laudable”. And an article published in July Journal of the American Medical Association Argued that it is “theoretically” possible.

Even in July, World Health Organization The accepted scientific papers and hypotheses suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted via aerosols. The WHO concluded at the time, what is not known as the ratio of evaporated droplets to nuclei or respiratory droplets to produce aerosols, and the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2.

So, why is the CDC coming up with it now? It is difficult to say.

Senior scholar of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Drs. Amesh Adalja told Yahoo Life, “There has been a lot of controversy on this subject and I don’t think it is completely settled.” “When we talk about airborne pathogens such as measles, there is clearly a difference in epidemiological prevalence versus COVID-19. In addition, many health care workers, including myself, did not universally see patients with full airborne PPE and were not infected. “

It may be that the CDC waits for the release of anything formal, as it is very difficult to determine whether people are getting infected by it Drops or aerosols Because they are often in contact with both, ”Dr. Thomas Russo, head of infectious disease at Buffalo at the State University of New York, tells Yahoo Life.

Nevertheless, Adalja says, “It is clear that there are certain circumstances here that COVID-19 transmission occurs over long distances,” such as in an exercise class or singing group. But, he says, “we still don’t see epidemiology similar to measles or chickenpox.”

Because it is the official term of the CDC, “it may be that they are in the process of setting the record straight,” Russo says. “Ex-Biden, the CDC was broadcasting information that seemed a bit more moderate,” he explains. “Now it seems that a lot of science-based information is going on. They are probably making some improvements.”

But Russo says “there is nothing new here,” adding that “nothing is magical” about the recommended 6 feet of social disturbances that usually help prevent the spread of COVID-19 Is recommended for, given that SARS-COV-2 can travel further than that.

The CDC did not respond to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.

Of course, this raises a big question: what does this information mean for your safety? In general, Russo states that keep in mind that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 is higher in small, indoor spaces with poor ventilation. This is why it is still important to wear masks in those situations and try to avoid congestion, both indoors and outdoors.

The CDC on Tuesday released new outdoor masking guidance for individuals fully vaccinated and unlicensed.  (Graphic courtesy of CDC)

The CDC released new outdoor masking guidance for individuals fully vaccinated and unlicensed. (Graphic courtesy of CDC)

For now, the CDC still recommends that you wear a mask, whether you get vaccinated or not.

Adalja agrees. “Overall, I would just say that people need to continue wearing masks in an indoor setting and pay special attention to situations like singing and exercise classes, where aerosolization is more common,” he says.

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