A WhatsApp chain circulates online, indicating that “the United States Government Center for Disease Control has officialized the emerging scientific evidence on the transmission of the coronavirus.” The message focuses on a classification of how the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is, from “very low risk” to “very high risk”, and indicates that “the viral load required to start the disease is approximately 1,000 viral particles ”
It also assures the recipient that they can calculate “their risk” of transmission based on four “main factors”. These say they are: “interior vs. exterior, tight spaces vs. large ventilated spaces, high density of people vs. low density and longer exposure vs. short exposure ”.
The WhatsApp chain is DECEPTIVE. Mix real elements with false or no evidence to back it up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they have not published any report with these characteristics. The CDC page that includes the message and is attributed as the source of the information, does not literally include the message’s claims, only mentions some points and not in the same way as the string. The message includes information from different articles that have been published by the CDC but in a decontextualized way along with statements that cannot be verified with the available scientific evidence.
Source of the message vs. message content
The CDC has not released any reports claiming to have “made the emerging scientific evidence on coronavirus transmission official.” The source attached to the viral chain is a CDC page exclusively referring to “how it extends” COVID-19. There are only two issues mentioned in the article that can be related to the message.
The first, the supposed factor number 2 and number 4 to “calculate your risk” of contagion before COVID-19 of the message, respectively, “narrow spaces vs. large ventilated spaces ”and“ longer exposure vs. shorter exposure ”. The article mentions something similar in this way: “in general, the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spreading.”
And second, the supposed “very low risk of transmission from the surfaces”. The article does not mention any level of risk, only that “touching a surface or object that contains the virus is not believed to be the primary way of spreading the virus.” The article talks about “low risk” for the spread of COVID-19 from animals to people. About the viral load and other issues mentioned in the post, this CDC article makes no reference.
This chain has also been denied by Chequeado, a means of verification included in the International Fact Checking Network to which Newtral.es also belongs.
CDC Transmission Risk Levels and Coronation Virus Transmission Factors
The WhatsApp chain explains that there is, “very low risk of transmission from the surfaces, very low risk of outdoor activities and very high risk of meetings in closed spaces, such as offices, places for religious services, cinemas or theaters.” As such The CDC does not give a general classification of what actions or situations lead to a greater or lesser risk of contagion.. Although they do give indications of risks in particular activities.
As we have stated before, the CDC concludes that “touching a surface or object that has the virus is the main way of spreading the virus “but they do warn that these can be a focus of transmission if a person touches them and then this makes contact with their mouth, nose or eyes.
Regarding the “very low” risk by outdoor activitiesCDC understands that not worryingIn fact, it indicates that it is necessary “to release stress, breathe fresh air and stay active” but as long as people keep in mind the basic security measures. That is, a safety distance of approximately two meters with other people with whom you do not live, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and preferably cover your mouth and nose with a cloth covering the face when close to others.
Regarding the “very high” risk in closed space meetingsThe CDC generally indicates that “the more interaction there is between people and the longer they interact, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spreading.”
In bars and restaurants “the highest risk” would be “the service of food indoors and outdoors” without limitation of “the seating area” and without separation of “two meters” between tables. For this reason they understand that it is essential to ensure ventilation and “the circulation of air from the outside as much as possible”. And in meetings “for events and congregations” that could simulate relationship cases in offices, religious services, cinemas or theaters, the “highest risk” would be the largest face-to-face concentrations where it is difficult to maintain a distance of at least two meters and the assistants come from other places, outside the local area ”.
Thus, the CDC does not suggest that “the main factors” in calculating the risk of contagion by coronavirus are “internal vs. exterior, tight spaces vs. large ventilated spaces, high density of people vs. low density and longer exposure vs. short exposure ”.
The CDC recalls that risk factor’s that determine who has a higher or lower risk of contagion, which to date are recognized, are the age, race or ethnicity, gender, some medical conditions, use of certain medications, poverty and overcrowding, certain occupations, and pregnancy.
In these cases, more prone to “an increased risk of serious disease from COVID-19”, the organization indicates that it is convenient “limit interactions with other people as much as possible ”and in any case take precautions of character generatesl to avoid contracting the disease when interacting with other people.
The viral load required to initiate COVID-19 by CDC
Regarding the part of the message that refers to “the viral load required to start the disease is 1000 viral particles (vp)”, there is no scientific evidence published by the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO) that determines this question.
As we already explained in Newtral.es, various works, even before the SARS-CoV-2 eruption, have shown that when we talk, and more when we scream, more than 10,000 particles come out of our mouth. If a person is located in closed and poorly ventilated places, the possibility of contagion by these particles increases 18 times. And, in theory, the longer the virus exposure in these spaces, the worse, at least indoors. Since some experiments carried out show that the respiratory sprays of someone infected can float up to 3 hours, although every minute these particles lose infectious capacity.