Coronavirus: US health chiefs reverse advice on Covid-19 testing

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A sign directs people to a Covid-19 testing site on 14 September 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York CityPicture copyright
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The US has had almost seven million confirmed Covid-19 circumstances

US well being officers have rowed again on controversial recommendation issued final month that mentioned individuals with out Covid-19 signs shouldn’t get examined.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) now says anybody in shut contact with a identified contaminated individual ought to take a take a look at.

Friday’s “clarification” returns the CDC’s stance on testing to its earlier steerage, earlier than the August alteration.

Reviews mentioned the controversial recommendation had not been given by scientists.

Sources quoted by the New York Times mentioned it had been posted on the CDC web site regardless of consultants’ objections.

Most US states had then rejected the steerage, Reuters reported, in a stinging rebuke to the nation’s high illness prevention company.

Some observers recommended the controversial transfer may have mirrored a want by President Donald Trump to cut back the rising tally of Covid-19 circumstances.

At a rally in June, Mr Trump informed supporters he had urged officers to “gradual the testing down, please”. A White Home official dismissed the comment as a joke.

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Media captionCDC director vs President Trump on face masks and vaccines

Nonetheless, administration officers denied any political motive, telling Reuters that the change mirrored “present proof and finest public well being practices”.

Consultants welcomed the change of tack on Friday.

“The return to a science-based method to testing steerage from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is nice information for public well being and for our united combat in opposition to this pandemic,” mentioned Thomas File, president of the Infectious Ailments Society of America.

In its “overview of testing” for healthcare workers the CDC now says: “Because of the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this steerage additional reinforces the necessity to take a look at asymptomatic individuals, together with shut contacts of an individual with documented SARS-CoV-2 an infection.”

It advises individuals to take a take a look at “in case you have been in shut contact, resembling inside 6ft of an individual with documented SARS-CoV-2 an infection for not less than quarter-hour and should not have signs”.

The US has recorded almost seven million circumstances of coronavirus, greater than a fifth of the world’s complete. It has the world’s highest demise toll, with almost 200,000 fatalities.

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