The CDC has done it again. After telling us that Ebola is, and isn’t, spread through sneezes, they have changed the “droplets spread 3 feet” information to 6 feet, and then taken that down again.
Gateway Pundit says that on Friday, October 31, the CDC was saying that Ebola could spread through large droplets, which can spread up to 6 feet. This is the portion of a CDC poster I am seeing in screenshots at places like Gateway Pundit:
Now I know what you’re thinking: how do I know that this poster screenshot reproduced at Gateway Pundit was actually on the CDC web site? Well, I could not find the language in the cache or the current version of the poster, but I did a Google search for this phrase on the cdc.gov Web site: “Droplets generally travel shorter distances, less than about 6 feet from a source patient.” Voila!
So we know that the language in question appeared at the CDC Web site recently enough to be visible in a search for that language.
As you can see by looking at the bottom left corner of this screenshot, the URL which this language used to be in is: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/infections-spread-by-air-or-droplets.pdf. The “6 feet” language is now gone, and I saved the current version of the poster as of today in this file.
Now, let’s review some of CDC’s previous contradictions on possible ways Ebola can spread. I noted on October 29 (this past Wednesday) that the CDC had published a poster (which I saved here) saying Ebola could be spread through sneezes. Of course, then we were being told it was 3 feet and not up to 6 feet. Here are screenshots from that poster:
In the same post, I noted that the poster had been pulled down. It was later replaced by this poster which says:
There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing. Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola; the virus is not transmitted through the air (like measles virus). However, droplets (e.g., splashes or sprays) of respiratory or other secretions from a person who is sick with Ebola could be infectious, and therefore certain precautions (called standard, contact, and droplet precautions) are recommended for use in healthcare settings to prevent the transmission of Ebola virus from patients sick with Ebola to healthcare personnel and other patients or family members.
Let me try to sum this up:
- CDC says: “There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing.”
- CDC says: Ebola is spread through droplet spread, which includes sneezes. “Droplet spread diseases include Ebola, plague.” Also: “Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.”
- CDC says: “Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet.”
- CDC says: “Droplets generally travel shorter distances, less than about 6 feet from a source patient.”
So, to sum up: according to the CDC, there is no evidence that Ebola travels through sneezing, but you should know that it is a droplet spread disease, and droplet spread happens through sneezes. So, Ebola does, and also does not, spread through sneezes. Also, according to the CDC, droplets spread less than 3 feet, and also less than 6 feet.
You may now feel reassured.