Science

According to the CDC, this is what most COVID-19 patients did before getting sick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says close contact with an infected person is the one thing that most COVID-19 patients did before they got infected.

In its latest statement emphasizing the relevance of social distancing, the CDC said the virus most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another, within a distance of six feet or precisely two arm lengths.

According to the CDC, the virus spreads through fine respiratory droplets or small particles like those in aerosols, which are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings, or breathes. Even though there are six-foot social distancing guidelines formulated by the CDC, it doesn’t completely eliminate the chance of getting infected by the virus, since smaller particles can remain in the air and infect the public, resulting in airborne transmission of the virus. 

Last October, the agency modified its social distancing guidelines in defining what it meant by ‘close contact’, which would be within six feet of an infected person for 15 or more cumulative minutes over a 24 hour period, commencing from two days right before their illness or a positive test result.

The agency also noted that in some cases, people with COVID-19 seemed to have infected others who were six feet apart. Such transmissions are mostly due to enclosed space with inadequate ventilation, thereby enabling the viral particles to linger in the air for a longer period. “Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising,” the CDC said. 

However, the agency stands firm on the fact that close contact is a much more common mode of transmission. “Available data indicates that it is much more common for the virus that causes COVID-19 to spread through close contact with a person who has COVID-19 than through airborne transmission”.

ARTICLE: LIDIYA SHILU 

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: TIMES OF INDIA

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