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New CDC Recommendations Around COVID-19 Testing Emerges

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to add new guidelines daily when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes also reversing recommendations. Such is the case when it comes to testing.

The CDC recently reversed its stance on testing, now stating that individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient should get tested, regardless if they show symptoms or not.

CDC updated their testing recommendations by noting that if someone has been in close contact with an individual infected by COVID-19 than they “need” to get tested. This is due to pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission.

This is a far cry from recommendations issued in late August, just last month, which outlined that anyone in close contact (within 6 feet) with someone who has the virus, for at least 15 minutes, but does not show symptoms, might not “necessarily” need to be tested.
Infectious disease experts were troubled and confused by the recommendation, as someone who is asymptomatic can still have, and spread, the novel coronavirus.

According to the CDC, asymptomatic infections represent approximately 40 percent of cases, and 50 percent of transmission happens before symptoms pop up. The worry is that asymptomatic carriers that have not been tested could only result in increased COVID-19 infections, but also hinder efforts around tracing.

Dr. Thomas File Jr., President, Infectious Diseases Society of America, was happy about the CDC’s update on their website, commenting that this is “good news” when it comes to the united fight against the novel coronavirus.

The reverse in guidelines is certainly a solid step in the right direction. After all, a person who has been in close contact with another who has been infected with COVID-19 should undeniably get tested. This is the best possible action item so that they can find out if they are infected and quarantine, so as not to pass the virus on to others. Especially those with underlying conditions.

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