CDC NOW SAYS COVID DOES NOT SPREAD EASILY VIA CONTAMINATED SURFACES

May 21, 2020 by

5.20.20 – Fox News

“CDC now says coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ via contaminated surfaces”

By Madeline Farber

https://www.foxnews.com/health/cdc-now-says-coronavirus-does-not-spread-easily-via-contaminated-surfaces

Excerpts from this article:

For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the novel virus “does not spread easily” from “touching surfaces or objects” — but experts warn that doesn’t mean it’s no longer necessary to take “practical and realistic” precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Though it’s not exactly clear when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that simply said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces. The CDC now includes “surfaces or objects” under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.

Other ways in which the virus does not easily spread is from animals to people, or from people to animals, the federal agency said on its updated page.

“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. 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,” according to the CDC.

…More specifically, the agency said the virus primarily spreads from person-to-person in the following ways:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms

The change comes after a preliminary study from March suggested that the novel coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, prompting many to take to wiping down packages and other items. However, at the time, the study was yet not peer-reviewed, andas Yahoo notes, did not determine if people could be infected from touching certain surfaces analyzed.

Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for the healthcare website WebMD, called the CDC’s changes 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 in an email.

…Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, echoed Whyte.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person (within about 6 feet). Person-to-person contact is a highway. Touching infected surfaces are little paths, but they don’t carry the big viral traffic,” he told Fox News in an email. “To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the safest thing is to continue social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently and thoroughly.”

The news comes after The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in mid-April issued a statement saying that there’s no need to wipe down food packaging after you’ve returned home from the grocery store.

“We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” the FDA said at the time…

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