The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an update advisory on its website which suggests that the coronavirus can commonly spread "through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols," which are produced even when a person breathes.
"Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread," the website now says. According to a CNN report, the CDC had earlier believed that COVID-19 spreads primarily through close contact between people, and "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks."
However, the recent update, released on Friday, 18 September, says "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)."
“In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”CDC
The virus is 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 CDC says, adding "This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
What How Coronavirus May Spread Through Air
The CDC also added new protective measures to its website.
Previously, the CDC had advised the maintenance of a "good social distance" of about 6 feet, washing hands, wearing a mask, and routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces.
The updated advisory says “stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible,” in addition to the previously detailed precautions. It recommends that when sick, people should stay home and isolate, and “use air purifiers to help reduce airborne germs in indoor spaces.”
Masks, it cautions, should not replace other preventive measures.
The CDC has also tweaked its stance on asymptomatic cases. Earlier, it had said "some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus." Now, it suggests "people who are infected but do not show symptoms can spread the virus to others."
(With inputs from CNN)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)