CDC confirms the virus is airborne

In a scientific brief published today, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said what many have suspected for months, that SARS-CoV-2, that it is transmissible via exhalation and inhalation to a greater distance than previously announced. Their announcement is framed with caution: “Once infectious droplets and particles are exhaled, they move outward from the source. The risk for infection decreases with increasing distance from the source and increasing time after exhalation.” They have also repeated that “Risk of transmission is greatest within three to six feet of an infectious source where the concentration of these very fine droplets and particles is greatest.”

What this brief explains is that while inhalation at up to six feet is the greatest danger, inhalation and contamination at greater distances remains possible. The agency previously said that most infections took place through “close contact, not airborne transmission.”

The brief further now categorizes contamination into three vectors: “transmission are now categorized as inhalation of virus, deposition of virus on exposed mucous membranes, and touching mucous membranes with soiled hands contaminated with virus.”