U.S. CDC acknowledges airborne transmission of COVID-19
Updated: 2020-10-06 17:05:10 KST
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, local time, admitted that COVID-19 can spread via airborne transmission under certain circumstances.
The agency revealed that evidence shows some patients had infected others more than six feet, or roughly 180 centimeters, apart in enclosed spaces that lacked ventilation, confirming wide concerns that aerosols lingering in the air can indeed be contagious.
They noted that a number of the carriers were breathing heavily at the time, for example while singing or exercising.
Scientists believe that, under such conditions, the amount of infectious small droplets and particles produced by infected people became concentrated enough to spread the virus to others.
"There's a much higher risk of transmission in places that are narrow, enclosed, crowded and not well ventilated."
The CDC's new guidelines come weeks after they published and then controversially took down a similar warning on their website, sparking debate over how the virus spreads.
Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Northwestern Medicine health system on 509 COVID-19 patients in the Chicago area has concluded that nearly a third of them suffered from altered mental functions, known as encephalopathy.
With symptoms ranging from confusion to delirium and even unresponsiveness, these 162 patients stayed three times as long in the hospital as those who did not suffer from such conditions.
The affected were also found to be nearly seven times as likely to die from the virus.
The study did not identify a cause for the encephalopathy, but experts suspect the symptoms might be triggered by inflammatory and immune system responses.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.