[Medscape] CDC expands definition of “close contact” of Covid-19 exposure


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its recommendations on the potential for human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to warn about the risk of repeated “close contact” over a long period of time. short for those who are positive for COVID-19.

New data shows that each close encounter — within 6 feet (1.8 m) of an infected person — can increase the risk of infection, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said at a news conference. .

Dr. Robert Redfield. Atlanta Journal-Constitution / AP

“As we have more data and scientific understanding of COVID, we’ll continue to incorporate that into our recommendations,” Redfield said in response to a reporter’s question about a recent study.

In the past, the CDC has warned against spending 15 minutes or longer near an infected person, especially in enclosed indoor spaces.

However, in a new report published online October 21 in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, the investigators “determined that an individual who had brief conversations with multiple people for more than 15 minutes was already infected.”

Careful with short encounters?

On July 28, a 20-year-old male correctional officer in Vermont had several brief encounters with six detainees or transferees while their SARS-CoV-2 test results were pending. . Six people were asymptomatic at the time and placed in an isolation ward, said CDC researcher Julia Pringle, PhD, and colleagues.

The next day, all six inmates tested PCR positive for COVID-19. According to surveillance video footage, the corrections officer had no more than 15 minutes of contact within 6 feet (1.8 m) of any inmate, and he continued to work.

However, on August 4, he developed symptoms including loss of smell and taste, muscle pain, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, headache, loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal symptoms. He was at home starting the next day and PCR tested positive for COVID-19 on August 11.

When further review of surveillance video showed that the officer had multiple encounters as short as one minute, the total time exceeded 15 minutes in a 24-hour period, the researchers reported.

In all interactions with inmates, correctional staff wear cloth masks, gowns, and eye protection. According to the report, inmates wore masks while in the cell but did not wear them during brief interactions at the cell door or in the foyer.

No interaction is 100% safe.

“We know that every activity that involves interacting with other people now carries a degree of risk,” said Jay Butler, MD, CDC deputy director for infectious diseases.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a worrying trend in the United States with increased COVID-19 cases in nearly 75% of the country,” he said. “We have confirmed 8.1 million cases and sadly over 220,000 deaths since January.”

“I know these are just numbers, but these are people too,” Butler added.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet,” Redfield said. “Earlier this week, the number of COVID-19 cases reached more than 40 million people globally. Here, in the United States, we are approaching an important stage.”

Butler said the four factors associated with a higher risk of transmission are the proximity of each encounter, its duration, whether the meeting took place indoors or outdoors, and the number of people encountered.

Butler acknowledged widespread fatigue with adhering to personal protective measures, but added that social distancing, mask wearing and other measures are now more important than ever. He noted that many Americans will be spending time indoors as the weather gets cooler and the holidays come up.

Note on optimism

Redfield remains optimistic about a limited vaccine availability or those by year-end but added that “It’s important for all of us to be persistent in our efforts to defeat this virus.”

“There is still hope for a safe and effective vaccine in the next few weeks or months. To get to that next stage, we must take steps to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe.” Alex Azar, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“I know it’s been a tough year for Americans, but we’re going to get through this differently,” Redfield said.

Source: CDC expands Definition of COVID-19 Exposure from “Close Contact”

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Translated by: thangngan2509

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