In its newest about-face, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) has reversed controversial COVID-19 testing tips that have been posted to the company’s web site final month, reportedly over the objections of its personal scientists.
On Aug. 24, the CDC up to date its testing tips to say that being uncovered to an individual with COVID-19 did not essentially warrant a check for many who are low-risk or not exhibiting any signs, Stay Science beforehand reported.
Now, the company has reverted again to earlier tips, saying that shut contacts of an individual contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 ought to be examined. That is as a result of individuals can transmit the virus earlier than, or with out ever exhibiting any signs. You probably have been in shut contact with an contaminated particular person, similar to inside 6 ft (1.8 meters) for a minimum of quarter-hour and would not have signs, “you want a check,” the CDC’s steerage now reads.
Associated: Coronavirus dwell updates
Regardless of this flip-flopping, the science on asymptomatic or presymptomatic transmission has not modified: individuals who do not present signs can transmit the virus. That is why final month’s abrupt change in tips was met with robust criticism from public well being consultants.
President Donald Trump has beforehand acknowledged that much less testing would result in fewer circumstances, so some public well being consultants have been involved the rules have been modified for political, fairly than scientific causes.
“It’s unconscionable that suggestions, which ought to comply with solely the science, are being modified to allow [maybe even ensure] underreporting of COVID-19 circumstances at this essential juncture,” Krys Johnson, an assistant professor of instruction within the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Temple College in Pennsylvania beforehand instructed Stay Science in an e mail.
It is not clear what proportion of COVID-19 circumstances are asymptomatic, however the CDC estimates about 40% of individuals by no means present signs. “If every of those individuals goes about their day by day lives, this pandemic will proceed to impression our nation and day by day lives for the foreseeable future, whatever the introduction of a vaccine,” Johnson mentioned on the time.
After the steerage was up to date final month, the Division of Well being and Human Providers Assistant Secretary, Adm. Brett Giroir defended the choice, telling CNN that the purpose of the brand new steerage wasn’t to do “much less” testing, however extra “applicable” testing.
Citing inner paperwork and other people accustomed to the topic, a New York Instances report revealed yesterday (Sept. 18) alleged that the up to date steerage was written by the Division of Well being and Human Providers, didn’t undergo the trials of the CDC’s scientific overview course of and was revealed on its web site regardless of robust opposition from CDC scientists.
The CDC mentioned right this moment’s change is a “clarification.” As a result of many circumstances are pushed by individuals who do not present signs, asymptomatic individuals who have had shut contact with SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals must be examined, the clarification says.
Initially revealed on Stay Science.