After originally recommending the country go on lockdown because of the “easy” spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a big “oops” regarding how the agency now believes the coronavirus spreads.
According to the most recent revisions to CDC information, the virus is spread not so much on surfaces like store door knobs, products and restaurant tables, but from intimate contact between individuals.
The news may come too late for businesses, big and small, on the verge of bankruptcy from lockdown orders that barred everything from sitting alone in a car in a church parking lot, walking in parks and swimming alone to buying flower seeds at Michigan’s Home Depots and Lowes or buying a wedding ring.
“We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes,” the agency now says.
Heart disease: 647,457
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
Kidney diseases/function: 50,633
Auto accidents: 33,654
The CDC is now admitting the coronavirus is generally spread between people who come into “close contact with one another,” as well as via “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks” not on surfaces.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious,” the CDC admits.
As for fears that the coronavirus is rampant on surfaces or objects, the CDC now says it believes the virus “does not spread easily in other ways,” beyond close contact with an infected person. That admission comes too late for many people who lost their jobs as a result of state and local orders to shut down 95% of businesses in most states.
Critics charge that the CDC should not have made lockdown recommendations based on only one or two studies and want the CDC to fess up.
The CDC does admit that because “COVID-19 is a new disease…we are still learning about how it spreads.”
One study published in March found that the coronavirus could remain on some surfaces for hours and even days. Researchers at the time evaluated the presence of the virus on surfaces and found that it could live on cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic for up to 72 hours.
Experts now see those findings as dubious as other studies from the U.S. and Europe show the spread of Covid-19 much more difficult.
“It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads,” the updated CDC information says.
The information might help to calm fears for those concerned about contracting the illness from some surfaces and give fuel to protests across the nation calling for restrictions to be eased so individuals can begin working.
Even so, the CDC continues to assert touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes could lead to infection but admits “This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus”.
Still, the CDC advises that the best way to avoid becoming sick is to avoid close contact with others, wash your hands regularly with soap and water and keep surfaces clean.
Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for WebMD, spoke to Fox News about the updated information and called it an “important step in clarifying how the virus is spread, especially as we gain new information.”
“It also may help reduce anxiety and stress. Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus, and that’s simply not the case. Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually infectious,” Whyte told Fox News.
For more details about the spread of the coronavirus, visit the CDC website.