Tag Archives: pandemic

Australia: Brisbane To Enter 3-Day Lockdown Over Detection Of COVID B.1.1.7 Variant Virus

250w.jpg
Credit Queensland Health

#15,692

The more transmissible B.1.1.7 COVID variant – which was first detected in the UK, and has now been identified in more than 40 countries – has raised concerns it might eventually become the dominant strain worldwide.

Even though it has not been linked to more severe illness, and there are hopeful signs the current vaccine will be effective against it, a substantially more transmissible virus remains a serious threat and could easily overwhelm local health delivery systems. 

Two days ago Denmark – which has detected fewer than 100 cases –  estimated it could become their dominant strain in as little as a month from now (see Denmark: Statens Serum Institute (SSI) Estimate Of COVID Variant B.1.1.7 Growth).

For countries who have successfully achieved low levels of COVID-19 transmission – and have only found only a few cases of the variant virus – there remains hope it may still be possible to contain, or at least slow, the spread of this more daunting variant 

While Australia has detected the variant in a small number of quarantined arrivals into the country, until yesterday they’d never detected a case outside of quarantine. Yesterday that lucky streak ended with the detection of the variant in a quarantine hotel employee,who was presumably infectious for several days before being identified. 

This January 7th alert from Public Health Australia. 

Public Health Alert: Brisbane

A public health alert has been issued for locations across Brisbane following the identification of a positive case in a quarantine hotel employee.

The 20-29-year-old woman was unknowingly infectious from 2 January 2021 and tested positive for COVID-19 on 6 January 2021.

Those who have been to the below locations during the relevant time periods, regardless of whether they have symptoms, are asked to come forward for testing and isolate until they receive their results.

Critically, even if a negative test result is received, people are asked to continue to monitor for symptoms and get retested if necessary.

(Continue . . . )

In order to try to contact trace, and hopefully stop the spread of this variant, Queensland Health has ordered a 3-day lockdown of the greater Brisbane area.

Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown

Greater Brisbane will go into lockdown for three days, while contact tracers work to ensure the UK variant of COVID-19 is not circulating in the community.


From 6pm tonight, Friday 8 January, until 6pm Monday 11 January people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials, food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Exercise with no more than one other person, unless all from the same household
  • Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
  • Work, or volunteering, or study if it is not reasonably practicable to work or learn remotely
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Legal obligations
  • Visit for end of life
  • Attend funeral or wedding in line with restrictions

Masks will also need to be worn everywhere in those local government areas except if people are at home.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be open only for takeaway and delivery services.

Funerals will be restricted to 20 people and weddings to 10, including the celebrant and two witnesses.

All essential businesses remain open. If you need to leave Greater Brisbane for an essential purpose, such as to work, to return home or to access healthcare, you should limit your movements for those three days wherever you go.

We’re also asking anyone who was in Greater Brisbane on or since 2 January, to follow the same lockdown rules where they are now. Only leave your home for the essential reasons and wear a mask.

Get tested

If you have any symptoms at all, get tested immediately and quarantine at home until you receive a negative result.
List of restrictions

The full list of restrictions include:

  • No more than two visitors to the household per day (in addition to anyone else currently staying in the household), excluding care workers or volunteers
  • All businesses that can remain open must adhere to social (physical) distancing and continue operating under a COVID Safe or Industry Plan
  • Restaurants and cafes to provide takeaway and delivery services only
  • Cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues, gyms etc to close
  • Places of worship to close
  • Weddings involve a maximum of 10 people, including the celebrant and witnesses
  • Funerals involve a maximum of 20 people
  • Mandatory mask wearing anywhere outside of your home
  • No visitors to aged care facilities, hospitals, disability accommodation services or correctional facilities.

(Continue . . . )

Whether or not is is reasonable to expect that Australia – or any other country –  can keep the B.1.1.7 variant out of their nation’s population over the long term is debatable. 

But Australia – which quelled two modest spikes of COVID in 2020 – has remarkably brought down their daily case counts to the low double, or even single digits (see epi curve below).

Meaning every delaying tactic, and every measure they can take to potentially slow its spread, gives them more time to roll out COVID vaccinations (now expected to begin in February) to their front line workers, and general population. 

Australia%2BEpi.png

And that’s a hard earned luxury few other countries can take advantage of right now. 

 

Japan Bans Entry To All Foreign Nationals Over COVID Variant Fears

https://ift.tt/3aRuBM6

 Japan%2BMap2.png

#15,657

Over the past week several dozen countries have banned travel to and from the UK –  and to a lesser extent South Africa – over reports of variant strains of COVID-19 that appear to be more transmissible (see  PrePrint: Estimated Transmissibility & Severity Of UK SARS-CoV-2 Variant – CMMID).

Saudi Arabia went even further on Monday, and closed their borders to all foreign nationals for a week (see Canada, India & Italy Join Growing List Of Countries Banning Travel To/From The UK).

Since then the number of countries reporting the UK variant has increased markedly (see here, here, and here). Japan reported their first 5 known cases yesterday (see Japan MOH Reports 5 Cases Of UK Variant COVID), which has prompted them to up the ante today and ban – starting Dec. 28th – the arrival of all foreign nationals until the end of January.

This English language report from The Japan Times.

Japan to halt new entry of foreign nationals over new virus strain

The Japanese government said Saturday it will ban new entries of all non-Japanese nationals from around the globe in principle from Dec. 28 through the end of January. | KYODO

KYODO, JIJI
 
Dec 27, 2020

(Continue . . . ) 

 

The prospect of dealing with a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 virus is a genuine concern for all countries, but is particularly unnerving to Asian nations which have had to deal primarily with the Asian lineage of the virus, one which is supposedly less transmissible than the D614G mutation that appeared in Europe last February and rapidly become the dominant strain.

For now there are still more questions than answers regarding how much of an increased threat the UK variant (or the lesser known South African variant) truly pose (see CDC: Implications of the Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variant VUI 202012/01).

But assuming these variants do substantially increase the impact of this pandemic, there is still the thorny problem that the UK variant (and possibly the South African variant, as well), appear to have already made significant inroads into dozens of countries around the world. 

Which means that border closings may be too little, and too late, to do much good. 

China NHC: COVID Survivors To Refrain From Donating Blood For 6 Months

https://ift.tt/35FZ2lu

blood%2Bdonation.jpg
Credit WHO/O. O’Hanlon








#15,567

Here in the United States recovered COVID-19 survivors are encouraged to donate plasma for convalescent therapy trials, and – due to ongoing concerns about blood shortages – are generally allowed to donate blood after it has been at least 14 days since their last COVID symptoms (including fever, cough and shortness of breath). 

The CDC monitors and reports on their Multistate Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in Blood Donors, and in their latest report (Nov 13th) state:

Safety of US blood supply

There have been no reported cases of people getting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from a blood transfusion. Generally, respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are not spread by blood transfusion.

 

Even so, people who want to donate blood are evaluated for any current or past illness. If they are ill at the time of donation, they cannot donate blood. For example, they must have normal body temperature on the day of donation. See FDA recommendations for blood donation among persons diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19 for more information.

The FDA’s above referenced criteria, since May of 2020, reads:

The blood establishment’s responsible physician must evaluate the prospective donor and determine eligibility (21 CFR 630.5). The responsible physician may want to consider the following:

  • individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are suspected of having COVID-19, and who had symptomatic disease, refrain from donating blood for at least 14 days after complete resolution of symptoms,
  • individuals who had a positive diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab), but never developed symptoms, refrain from donating at least 14 days after the date of the positive test result,
  • individuals who are tested and found positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, but who did not have prior diagnostic testing and never developed symptoms, can donate without a waiting period and without performing a diagnostic test (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab).

Other countries have adopted different rules on blood donations, their time and rationale for ending isolation or quarantine, and their definition of `recovered’ from COVID – but despite these differences – most fall fairly close together. 

Which makes the following announcement from China’s National Health Commission two days ago a bit of an outlier, in that buried deep in the announcement is the order to refrain from accepting blood donations from COVID-19 survivors for at least 6 months. 

It is a long, detailed, and tedious document that specifies everything from blood storage, transportation and supply to the clearing of door handles, staircase handrails, elevators and buttons and other facilities or devices. 

I’ve only included the pertinent excerpt, so follow the link to read the full document if you are inclined. 

(Translated)


Notice on the issuance of guidelines for the prevention and control of the new crown pneumonia epidemic in blood stations in autumn and winter

Release time: 2020-11-17 Source: Medical Administration and Hospital Authority

National Health Office Medical Letter ( 2020) No.930

(EXCERPT)

2. In the supplementary consultation content, if the blood donor has experienced any of the following conditions, it is recommended to postpone blood donation, and the postponement time is at least 28 days after the end of the relevant conditions:

( 1) I have fever or respiratory symptoms;

( 2) Have had close contact with persons or patients with fever or respiratory symptoms;

( 3) There has been a history of contact or epidemiological association with people infected with the new coronavirus or clustered patients;

( 4) Recent residence history abroad or in high-risk areas;

( 5) Have received influenza or new coronavirus vaccination .

It is recommended that common conditions such as occasional coughing should be screened during health consultations.

3. For those who have been diagnosed with new coronavirus infection, they will temporarily refuse to donate blood within 6 months after being cured and discharged.

         (Continue . . . )

 
The following notice, published today in China Youth Daily, has been appearing across Chinese state media the past 24 hours.

National Health Commission: People with new coronavirus infection temporarily refuse to donate blood within 6 months after being discharged from hospital

China Youth Daily November 18th at 12:08

The National Health Commission issued a notice yesterday (November 17) to issue the “Guidelines for Prevention and Control of New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemics in Blood Stations in Autumn and Winter”. The “Guidelines” stipulate that for people who have been diagnosed with new coronavirus infection, they should temporarily refuse to donate blood within 6 months after being cured and discharged. The temperature of each blood donor is measured and accurately recorded. If the blood donor has a body temperature of ≥37.3℃, the staff should inform the blood donor to postpone blood donation, arrange for him to leave the consultation site, and remind the blood donor to go to the designated fever clinic in time. 

It isn’t clear what evidence (if any) they have to support this strict and highly conservative approach.  And given the extremely limited number of new cases reported by China over the last 6 months, this would hardly seem to be a big concern. 

China, admittedly has a very low tolerance for COVID-19 risk after finally getting their epidemic under control last spring, and has not shied away from drastic, and oft times draconian, measures to prevent and contain further spread of the virus. 

China has previously required a 14-day home quarantine following release from the hospital with COVID, and has repeatedly locked down and tested millions of people following the detection of even a handful of new cases (see Beijing Cancels Hundreds Of Flights & Reports 31 New COVID-19 Cases).

It seems likely that the risk of transmission via the blood supply after 14 days is incredibly small, but not zero.  With the virus raging in Europe and North America, any contribution to the epidemic from the blood supply would be both insignificant, and probably undetectable. 

But in China, where – if their surveillance and reporting is to be believed – community transmission of the virus is very rare, I suppose even one or two infections via the blood supply could risk restarting their epidemic.  

This is likely more of a reflection of how fragile China’s control of the virus truly is, and how much they fear the introduction and spread of the (presumably) more transmissible COVID strains that have emerged globally over the past 6 months.  

While China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and several other Asian nations have managed to keep community transmission relatively in check, the real test comes this winter, and already we are seeing some cracks appear in South Korea and Japan. 

Stay tuned. 

Sigh, yes, the ‘COVID virus’ is real

There has been talk out thar in the wildlands we call Twitter that people can’t find evidence that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – also known as ‘the COVID virus’ – is real. Has it ever been isolated in cell culture, visualised by electron microscopy, reacted with antibodies, genetically sequence and otherwise characterised in many samples collected from people with coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) all over the world in during the past nine months? Sigh, yes, the ‘COVID virus’ is real. Here are a few of the scientific endeavours that show this virus has been isolated from clinically diagnosed, ill and laboratory-confirmed human COVID-19 cases.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

January 2020 [1]

Peng Zhou and colleagues from the Wuhan Institute of Virology grew a novel coronavirus (later to be called SARS-CoV-2) in cell culture (isolated) from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid collected from an ill and RT-PCR-positive female patient (ICU-06 in Spike tree=WIV04/2019 virus).

Extended Table 2. The samples from ICU-06 had some of the highest viral loads (estimated from the low threshold cycle values [CT]) among the patients tested.

The virus was called nCoV-2019 BetaCoV/Wuhan/WIV04/2019 and grew in Vero E6 and Huh7 cells. Virus-induced cellular changes (cytopathic effect or CPE) were observed.

Vero E6 cells are shown at 24 h after infection with (a) mock virus) or (b) SARS-CoV-2.
Mock-virus-infected (c) or SARS-CoV-2-infected (d) samples were stained with rabbit serum raised against recombinant SARSr-CoV Rp3N protein (red; able to cross react) and DAPI (blue; a counterstain). The experiment was conducted twice independently but with similar results.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used to identify the unique genetic sequence of the cultured virus and a specific real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-rPCR) designed to allow screening of more sensitive and rapid screening of more samples. The RT-rPCR was tested against human endemic CoVs (229E, OC43, HKU1) as well as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and others, and was found to be highly specific for SARS-CoV-2.

The authors also saw viral particles. Electron microscopy (EM) was used to visualise virus in cultured Vero E6 cells after they had been inoculated with the patent sample.

Viral particles shown in ultrathin cut sections of prepared virus-positive Vero E6 cell cultures, using electron microscopy at 200 kV. The inset shows the viral particles in an intra-cytosolic vacuole, likley on their way to thw surface and out of the infected cell.[1]

They also showed that the antibodies from five infected people could neutralise (=prevent) infection of Vero E6 after incubated dilutions of patient sera with a cultured virus preparation and added to cultures of uninfected cells. An antibody made in horses against the original SARS-CoV could also neutralise the virus however serum from two healthy people in Wuhan could not.

February 2020 [2]

Jeong-Min Kim and colleagues from South Korea inoculated RT-rPCR-positive patient nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples onto Vero cells. After most inoculated (but not mock-inoculated) cells were showing CPE, they were harvested and tested using the two RT-rPCRs (Corman et al. RdRp and E; these detect viruses in the genus Sarbecovirus). RT-rPCR testing found an increase in viral RNA which the team estimated at 10-70-fold.

The study also examined three-day post-inoculation cells using EM. They found virus-like particles in vesicles within the infected cells.

To confirm that the virus was indeed SARS-CoV-2, the authors conducted WGS, naming the SARS-CoV-2 variant they’d isolated, BetaCoV/Korea/KCDC03/2020

February [4]

This is a method for culturing SARS-CoV-2 from patients samples. It doesn’t delve into virus characterisation though. Nonetheless, the image below shows CPE on a monolayer (=single cell layer) of African green monkey kidney Vero C1008, clone E6 cells (ATCC®-CRL-1586).

An example of a SARS-CoV-2-infected monolayer culture of Vero E6 cells demonstrating focal CPE. Source: Dr. Alyssa Pyke, Public Health Virology Laboratory, Forensic and Scientific Services, Queensland. 08FEB2020

March 2020 [3]

Leon Caly and a crew from Australia isolated the virus from an ill traveller from Wuhan. The virus was detected using an in-house (designed by this team) RT-rPCR. The nasopharyngeal swab was used to inoculate the Vero/SLAM cell line.

Growth was seen both by the CPE induced and the use of that specific RT-rPCR to show an increase in the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA (decrease in CT)

Cell-free liquid from infected cultures (called supernatant) and cells from the cultures were each examined using EM, finding particles with characteristic coronavirus morphology (=shape) and the same particles inside vesicles within the cells.

To further characterise the amplified agent, WGS identified the genome and names this virus BetaCoV/Australia/VIC/01/2020.

Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 isolation and visualisation in other ways

Below is a brief list of some major feel-good SARS-CoV-2 discovery announcements that came to us through the mainstream media or University websites.

  1. Melbourne scientists first to grow and share novel coronavirus
    https://about.unimelb.edu.au/newsroom/news/2020/january/melbourne-scientists-first-to-grow-and-share-novel-coronavirus
  2. China coronavirus: Hong Kong researchers have already developed vaccine but need time to test it, expert reveals
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3047956/china-coronavirus-hong-kong-researchers-have
  3. China CDC developing novel coronavirus vaccine
    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/26/c_138734908.htm
  4. Coronavirus: Scientists isolate virus responsible for deadly Covid-19 outbreak
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-isolate-canada-scientists-mutations-strains-a9399226.html
  5. I study viruses: How our team isolated the new coronavirus to fight the global pandemic
    https://theconversation.com/i-study-viruses-how-our-team-isolated-the-new-coronavirus-to-fight-the-global-pandemic-133675

Stock free-to-use images of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

These images are made public by the US Centers for Disease Control ND prevention via their Public Health Image Library (PHIL). A fantastic resource for virus images. The exact details of how the viruses were prepared aren’t present, nor the ways in which SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed. that may be a problem for you. However, I’m sure they were prepared and confirmed using the exact same methods as those listed above.

Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV (SARS-CoV-2). The spherical viral particles, colourized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.
Source: https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23354

Electron microscopic image of a negatively stained particle of SARS-CoV-2, causative agent of COVID-19. Note the prominent spikes from which the coronavirus gets its name for “corona”, or “crown-like”.
http://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23640

Thin section electron microscopic image of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Spherical virus particles contain black dots, which are cross-sections through the viral nucleocapsid. In the cytoplasm of the infected cell, clusters of particles are found within the membrane-bound cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi area.
https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23640

Electron microscopic image of a negatively stained particle of SARS-CoV-2, causative agent of COVID-19. Note the prominent spikes from which the coronavirus gets its name for “corona”, or “crown-like”.
Source: https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23641

Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical extracellular viral particles contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.
Source: https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23336

Some final thoughts

I know there will be comments below (I’ll make sure to publish some of the less offensive ones 😉) to the extent that ‘I don’t care what y’all say, I ain’t seen no evidence, make it empirical, abide by the Koch’…or something.

And that’s all well and good.

There is evidence and some of the most significant parts of it are listed above.

It convinces me. If it doesn’t convince you, there is nothing more I can do except ask what it would take to convince you and in the meantime assure you that you are wrong on this one. Yes, the ‘COVID virus’ is real.

References

  1. Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.22.914952v2 and then
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2012-7
  2. Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19
    https://ophrp.org/journal/view.php?doi=10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.02
  3. Isolation and rapid sharing of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS‐CoV‐2) from the first patient diagnosed with COVID‐19 in Australia
    https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/212/10/isolation-and-rapid-sharing-2019-novel-coronavirus-sars-cov-2-first-patient
  4. Culture of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; f.2019-nCoV)
    https://www.protocols.io/view/culture-of-the-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome-c-bcduis6w?step=5

Hits: 13

The post Sigh, yes, the ‘COVID virus’ is real appeared first on Virology Down Under.

The CDC’s Updated Guidance On Airborne & Asymptomatic Spread Of COVID-19 – Redux

Screenshot%2Bfrom%2B2020-09-21%2B13-06-2 

Note: The above retraction by the CDC was posted Sept 21st – 3 days after the new guidance was posted. 

#15,487

Two weeks ago, in The CDC’s Updated Guidance On Airborne & Asymptomatic Spread Of COVID-19we looked at recently posted changes to the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance on COVID-19 transmission that placed more emphasis on the potential for airborne spread. 

While welcomed, the CDC’s acknowledgement that COVID-19 can spread via aerosols and by asymptomatic cases was more of an incremental change than a seismic shift. In July 200+ scientists from around the world signed an open letter to the WHO, urging them to reconsider their stance on the airborne spread of the virus.

Hours after I posted that blog, that new guidance disappeared and the (above) retraction was posted on the CDC site. 

Although I can’t promise today’s changes won’t be reversed again, the CDC has posted a new update (dated today, Oct 5th) that incorporates much of what was published – and then retracted – 2 weeks ago. After which you’ll find a link to a more detailed scientific brief from the CDC. 

How COVID-19 Spreads
Updated Oct. 5, 2020
 

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet). People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

 

COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person

How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary. 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.
  • COVID-19 most commonly spreads during close contact
  • People who are physically near (within 6 feet) a person with COVID-19 or have direct contact with that person are at greatest risk of infection.
  • When people with COVID-19 cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe they produce respiratory droplets. These droplets can range in size from larger droplets (some of which are visible) to smaller droplets. Small droplets can also form particles when they dry very quickly in the airstream.
  • Infections occur mainly through exposure to respiratory droplets when a person is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth.
  • As the respiratory droplets travel further from the person with COVID-19, the concentration of these droplets decreases. Larger droplets fall out of the air due to gravity. Smaller droplets and particles spread apart in the air.
  • With passing time, the amount of infectious virus in respiratory droplets also decreases.

COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission
  • Some infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.
  • This kind of spread is referred to as airborne transmission and is an important way that infections like tuberculosis, measles, and chicken pox are spread.
  • There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.
    • Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.
  • Available data indicate that it is much more common for the virus that causes COVID-19 to spread through close contact with a person who has COVID-19 than through airborne transmission. [1] 
COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces 
  • Respiratory droplets can also land on surfaces and objects. It is possible that a person could get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads
COVID-19 rarely spreads between people and animals
  1. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Learn what you should do if you have pets.
  2. At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low. Learn about COVID-19 and pets and other animals.
Protect yourself and others

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Pandemics can be stressful, especially when you are staying away from others. During this time, it’s important to maintain social connections and care for your mental health.

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others.
1Pathogens that are spread easily through airborne transmission require the use of special engineering controls to prevent infections. Control practices, including recommendations for patient placement and personal protective equipment for health care personnel in healthcare settings, can be found in Section 2 of Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission
Updated Oct. 5, 2020

Early results promising for RNA COVID vaccine in older adults

The authors caution that, without more inclusion of older adults, any potential COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, use, and adverse effects may not be fully realized or understood.

“Some have argued that only vaccination of younger populations is needed to achieve herd immunity (67% level of immunity), and therefore, vaccination of older adults is not essential,” the authors write. “However, the high level of immunity required, coupled with the fact that many settings (eg, nursing homes) are comprised nearly exclusively of older adults, highlights the imperative for their inclusion in COVID-19 vaccine trials.”

Older man getting vaccinated
Lianna Matt McLernon | News Writer | CIDRAP News
Sep 30, 2020

The study is one of only a few showing preliminary data in older populations.