United States health officials, who encouraged people with no symptoms of Covid-19 to perform tests if they had contact with someone infected, now consider the practice mandatory, although they have not given a clear explanation for the change in criteria
The modification of the recommendations was made official on Monday on the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the press reported pressure from the White House for a change to be made.
President Donald Trump, often that the United States, does not conduct as many screening tests, considering that it denigrates the image of the way the country has handled a coronavirus pandemic.
But while it is true that the United States conducts many tests, it is also a fact that the numbers of contamination are very high and that the pandemic is advancing at a rapid pace in the country, with more than 5.8 million confirmed cases and almost 180,000 deaths.
Before, the CDC website said: “Tests are recommended in case of close contact with people infected with SARS-CoV-2”.
“The possible contagions by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people, it is important that the contacts of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection are quickly identified and tested”.
This Wednesday, a message is another: “If you have had contact (of at least 1.8 m) with a person infected with Covid-19 for at least 15 minutes, but you have no symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable person or your doctor, your state or your local public health professionals recommend it. ”
‘I didn’t participate’
Brett Giroir, a senior Health Department official, told reporters that the new guidelines are an action of the CDC. As always, as received the appropriate attention, advice and input from the coroners of the coronavirus working group ”.
Giroir did not detail that new tests led to the change of position, but said the documents were seen by other senior officials, including renowned physician Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and is a leading medical evaluator. White House to respond to the pandemic.
Fauci denied Giroir in an interview with the CNN TV network: “I did not participate in the discussion any discussion or deliberation on the new testing recommendations. I am concerned with the interpretation of these recommendations, and that they make people mistakenly assume that asymptomatic transmission is not a big issue. Indeed it is. “
The CDC said in the past that between 40% and 50% of people with COVID-19 were asymptomatic and that tests were important to contain the virus.
Some experts reacted with amazement to the sudden change. “I still don’t understand the change in the CDC’s agenda”, tweeted Dr. Leana Wen, a professor at George Washington University. “People exposed to the virus need to know, to protect their families and a population. A persistent question: is this change due to the fact that we don’t have enough tests? ”.
The New York Times and CNN station cited officials who said the CDC had changed guidelines following the Trump administration.
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