The CDC has taken down a page detailing how Ebola can be spread through sneezing and coughing.
Here’s the text from the original page:
“Airborne spread happens when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Germs may land in the eyes, mouth, or nose of another person.
“If a germ is airborne, direct contact with the infected person is NOT needed for someone else to get sick. Airborne spread diseases include: chickenpox, tuberculosis.
“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another.
“A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
“Droplet spread diseases include: plague, Ebola.”
Here’s the text that replaced it:
“What’s the difference between infections spread through air or by droplets? Fact sheet is being updated and is currently unavailable. Please visit cdc.gov/Ebola for up-to-date information on Ebola.”
A Volokh Conspiracy blog report cites a CDC Q and A that has changed its explanation of how Ebola can be transmitted:
“Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?”
“Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.”
“Can Ebola be spread by coughing or sneezing?”
“There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing. Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola; the virus is not transmitted through the air (like measles virus). However, droplets (e.g., splashes or sprays) of respiratory or other secretions from a person who is sick with Ebola could be infectious, and therefore certain precautions (called standard, contact, and droplet precautions) are recommended for use in healthcare settings to prevent the transmission of Ebola virus from patients sick with Ebola to healthcare personnel and other patients or family members.”
What do you think? Is the CDC changing its statements on Ebola due to political pressure instead of scientific facts?
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
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