The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidelines on how covid-19 spreads on its website. One of the most trusted sources for information on novel coronavirus, this update has all of us intrigued–especially since it claims that covid-19 doesn’t spread to humans as easily as we think from contaminated surfaces.
What do the updated CDC guidelines say?
The revised version of the CDC guidelines clearly states that “Covid-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people”. But we already know that.
The key change is in the context of the risks attached to contaminated surfaces. In this regard, the CDC now states: “The virus does not spread easily in other ways”. Although, touching your mouth, nose or eyes after touching contaminated surfaces can cause it, the risk here is very low.
Another significant mode of covid-19 transmission that we are all vary of is getting it via infected animals. While some cases of pet cats and dogs have been reported of being SARS-CoV-2 positive, the possible transmission from us to animals or animals to us is still low.
So does this mean we don’t need to disinfect possibly contaminated surfaces as religiously?
Before you toss away that bottle of disinfectant, please bear in mind that the updated guidelines are not eliminating the risk of getting infected via contaminated surfaces or infected animals. Rather, it’s just saying that the chances of person-to-person contamination is much higher.
Dr Samrat D. Shah, managing director, internal medicine specialist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai states on the matter: “The chances of transmission through surface contact increase only when you touch a parcel after an infected person has sneezed and coughed at the parcel and you handled it followed by touching your nose, mouth and eyes.”
The rules for preventing covid-19 are still the same
While routinely disinfecting surfaces or packages is significant, it must not be considered as the only thing that can keep us safe while quarantining. Because social distancing still holds the key in winning this battle.
Since we’re living with fewer restrictions during lockdown 4.0, we may become complacent about maintaining social distancing. Even though some parts of our life slowly seem to be resuming to normal, remembering that the primary source of transmission is human contact shall remind us to avoid human contact as much as possible. We must remember to maintain the CDC-recommended six-feet distance and wash our hands regularly.
Please remember, our complacency around social distancing can be more lethal than the possibility of us getting covid-19 from infected surfaces. Stay home as much as possible to protect yourself and others.