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No evidence anyone has got Covid by touching a floor: US experts – Times of India


When the coronavirus started to unfold within the US final spring, many experts warned of the hazard posed by surfaces. Americans responded in sort, wiping down groceries and clearing drugstore cabinets of Clorox wipes. Facebook closed two of its workplaces for a “deep cleaning.” New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority started disinfecting subway automobiles each night time. But the period of “hygiene theater” might have come to an unofficial finish this week, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention up to date its floor cleansing tips and famous that the danger of contracting the virus from touching a contaminated floor was lower than 1 in 10,000 (that’s lower than 0.01%).
“Evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of infection of transmission is actually low, Dr Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director said at a recent White House briefing.
The admission is long overdue, scientists say. “Finally,” mentioned Linsey Marr, an knowledgeable on airborne viruses at Virginia Tech. “We’ve known this for a long time and yet people are still focusing so much on surface cleaning.” She added, “There’s really no evidence that anyone has ever gotten Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface.” Over the final yr, it has grow to be more and more clear that the virus spreads primarily by means of the air — in each giant and small droplets, which may stay aloft longer — and that scouring door handles and subway seats does little to maintain folks protected.
“The scientific basis for all this concern about surfaces is very slim — slim to none,” mentioned Emanuel Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers University, who wrote final summer time that the danger of floor transmission had been overblown. “This is a virus you get by breathing. It’s not a virus you get by touching.”
The CDC has beforehand acknowledged that surfaces aren’t the first approach that the virus spreads. But the company’s statements this week went additional. “The most important part of this update is that they’re clearly communicating to the public the correct, low risk from surfaces, which is not a message that has been clearly communicated for the past year,” mentioned Joseph Allen, a constructing security knowledgeable on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “What this does very usefully, I think, is tell us what we don’t need to do,” mentioned Donald Milton, an aerosol scientist on the University of Maryland. “Doing a lot of spraying and misting of chemicals isn’t helpful.”
“Disinfection is only recommended in indoor settings — schools and homes — where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 within the last 24 hours,” Dr Walensky mentioned in the course of the White House briefing. “Also, in most cases, fogging, fumigation and wide-area or electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of disinfection and has several safety risks to consider.”
Saskia Popescu, an infectious illness epidemiologist at George Mason University, mentioned that she was joyful to see the brand new steerage, which “reflects our evolving data on transmission throughout the pandemic.” But she famous that it remained vital to proceed performing some common cleansing — and sustaining good hand-washing practices — to cut back the danger of contracting not simply the coronavirus however different pathogens too.
Allen mentioned that the college and enterprise officers he has spoken with this week expressed aid over the up to date tips, which can permit them to tug again on some of their intensive cleansing regimens. “This frees up a lot of organizations to spend that money better,” he mentioned.
Schools, companies and different establishments that need to maintain folks protected ought to shift their consideration from surfaces to air high quality, he mentioned, and spend money on improved air flow and filtration. “This should be the end of deep cleaning,” Allen mentioned, noting that the misplaced deal with surfaces has had actual prices. “It has led to closed playgrounds, it has led to taking nets off basketball courts, it has led to quarantining books in the library. It has led to entire missed school days for deep cleaning. It has led to not being able to share a pencil. So that’s all that hygiene theatre, and it’s a direct result of not properly classifying surface transmission as low risk.” NYT

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