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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that people can sometimes be infected with the coronavirus through airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation.

The long-awaited update to the agency web page explaining how the virus spreads represents an official acknowledgment of growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.

The update follows an embarrassing incident last month when the agency removed a draft that had not gone through proper review and was posted in error. The draft’s wording included a reference to aerosols – tiny droplets that can stay in the air, potentially traveling a significant distance. Officials said the draft was removed because they feared the language could be misinterpreted as suggesting that airborne

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Oct. 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a long-awaited update on the agency’s COVID-19 website Monday clarifying that the disease can sometimes be spread through airborne transmission and can travel more than 6 feet in unventilated spaces.

The agency said evidence shows the coronavirus can spread from particles that linger in the air even after an infected person has left, like the way tuberculosis, measles, and chicken pox are spread.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza but not as efficiently as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people,” the website said. “People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others.”

The update said that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away in poorly ventilated spaces.

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The update follows an embarrassing incident last month when the agency removed a draft that had not gone through proper review and was posted in error. The draft’s wording included a reference to aerosols — tiny droplets that can stay in the air, potentially traveling a significant distance. Officials said the draft was removed because they feared the language could be misinterpreted as suggesting that airborne transmission is the main way the virus spreads.

That is not the case. The main drivers of viral spread are larger respiratory droplets that are emitted when someone coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes, the CDC said.

“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than six feet away,” the updated Web page states. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while

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Just days after publishing significant new guidance on airborne transmission of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday withdrew the advice, saying only that it had been “posted in error” on the agency’s website.

The rapid reversal prompted consternation among scientists and again called into question the credibility of the world’s premier health agency, even as President Trump and his senior health officials have sought to undermine C.D.C. scientists.

The president faces an election whose outcome may turn on public perception of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The turnabout arrived as the number of virus-related deaths in the United States approached the 200,000 mark. Tens of thousands of new infections are reported every day, and experts fear a resurgence as cooler weather approaches and people spend more time indoors.

The new document for the first time had acknowledged that the virus spreads mainly by air,

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