Your Coronavirus Update for October 26; stay up to day with Elite.
More than 43.4 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Sunday evening, including at least 1.16 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported more than 8.7 million positive COVID-19 cases and at least 225,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine
CDC Updates “Close Contact” Definition For Contact Tracing
Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their definition of what it means to establish “close contact” with someone who is infected with coronavirus for purposes of helping the public to avoid dangerous behaviors and to assist in identifying those at risk of exposure to conduct contact tracing.
Currently, someone is said to have close contact with another when they are within six feet of them for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Cumulative exposures can included periods of time that are added together over a 24-hour period (for example, three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, officials said, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation.
Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (for example, was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory personal protective equipment, such as an N95 mask, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory, officials said. At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.
The CDC previously defined close contact as being within six feet of someone infected with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or more. The updated guidance now defines close contact as being within six feet of someone with the virus for a cumulative total of 15 minutes (or more) over a 24-hour period.
Could Mouthwash & Nasal Rinses Decrease Virus Spread?
A recent study claims that nasal rinses and mouthwashes could provide protection against the virus when used in conjunction with a facemask. The study, “Lowering the Transmission and Spread of Human Coronavirus,” reportedly examined the use of common mouthwashes to test their ability to inactivate high concentrations of human coronaviruses after using the products for 30 seconds, one minute, and two minutes.1
According to the report, Listerine mouthwashes, Crest Pro-Health, Equate Antiseptic mouthwash, and CVS Antiseptic mouthwash were “highly effective at inactivating infectious virus with greater than 99.9 percent,” according to the researchers in the study.1
Researchers also believe that mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient demonstrated similar abilities to inactivate the human coronavirus 229e, a common human coronavirus, by 90 to 99 percent. Researchers also reportedly found that using a 1 percent baby shampoo solution for 1-2 minutes inactivated more than 99 percent of the virus.
The 229e, one of several strains that typically only cause mild infections such as the common cold, is not SARS-CoV-2, the virus associated with COVID-19. Clinical trials will be necessary to confirm the virucidal potential of these products and assess their ability to limit transmission of human coronavirus, researchers said.
School Kids Not Causing Coronavirus Surges
The reopening of schools across the United States are not contributing to increased community transmission of coronavirus, according to a report by the New York Times, because transmission is not believed to be happening frequently from young children to adults.2 According to the report, data from random testing in the United States and Britain serve as the basis for this determination. The evidence is not considered to be conclusive, and flaws in data collection and analysis are said to have an impact.
The report comes at a time when more than 73,000 new coronavirus infections were reported in the United States on Oct. 22, the highest one-day increase in the country since July. Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen in at least 38 states during the week of Oct. 19.
Thank you for joining us for Your Coronavirus Update for October 26; if you missed last week’s article, please consider reading it here.
- Meyers C, Robison, R, Millci J. Lowering the transmission and spread of human coronavirus. 2020. Journal of Medical Virology. Accessed online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmv.26514\
- Mandavilli, A. Schoolchildren Seem Unlikely to Fuel Coronavirus Surges, Scientists Say. 2020. New York Times. Accessed online: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/health/coronavirus-schools-children.html