CDC clarifies stance on airborne COVID-19 transmission after previous mix-up

Following a series of revisions, the CDC has updated its website Oct. 5 to include airborne transmission on its "How COVID-19 spreads" page.

The update explains that individuals can sometimes contract the virus via airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation. The official update recognizes that, under some circumstances, people farther than 6 feet apart can become infected by tiny aerosols. 

A few weeks ago, the agency erroneously posted — and promptly removed — a draft that it said had not been reviewed properly. The draft was taken down because the language could be misinterpreted as suggesting that airborne transmission is the main way the virus spreads, officials said. In reality, the main modes of spread are larger respiratory droplets emitted when someone coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes, according to the CDC.

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