The number of people that tested positive for COVID after attending a CDC conference has climbed to 181, the CDC stated in a statement this week.
Infectious disease specialist William Schaffner informed the Washington Post that this epidemic “dramatically demonstrates the fact that if all circumstances are right, this virus has the ability to spread to a large number of people.”
According to Schaffner, one of his coworkers had a “mild illness,” similar to many others, but was “quite uncomfortable for several days.”
According to the Washington Post, the seminar was conducted in April at a hotel in Atlanta for officers and former employees of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. EIS employees are frequently referred to as “disease detectives” and are responsible for locating and controlling outbreaks.
Between May 5 and 10, a fast evaluation team polled 1,443 conference attendees. 70% of individuals who answered to the poll did not have masks on; virtually everyone had gotten at least one dose of the COVID vaccination; and none had been admitted to the hospital.
Of those who tested positive, 52% said they had never been infected with COVID before, and 27% had taken antiviral medicine.
Masking was not advised at the time, per the CDC’s own advice, and the meeting took place while COVID community levels were low.
According to the study’s findings, registrants had a higher chance of testing positive the longer they attended the conference and the more activities they participated in.
On the last day of the meeting, some delegates reportedly let conference organizers know they had tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC. According to reports, EIS executives announced the probable cases “and initiated action to minimize further spread associated with the gathering and subsequent events.”
As it moved on to the subsequent stage of COVID-19 monitoring and response, the CDC collaborated with the Georgia Department of Health to “learn more regarding the spread of the virus that took place and add to our current understanding.”
According to the CDC, the survey’s findings show the value of vaccinations, antiviral medications, and prior infection protection.
According to a CDC official who talked to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity and cited in the article, another CDC global health gathering with 300–400 attendees is set for the same Atlanta location in June.
According to a “Knowing Before You Go” document the outlet obtained, June conference guests were encouraged to wear high-quality masks and bring COVID quick testing with them.