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Saturday, May 25, 2024

35 People Test Positive for COVID after CDC Superspreader Conference

'These cases are reflective of general spread in the community. It’s not news that public health employees can get COVID-19....'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened an investigation after it hosted a superspreader conference in Georgia that led to at least 35 coronavirus infections, the Washington Post reported.

“We’re letting you know that several people who attended the [Epidemic Intelligence Service] Conference have tested positive for COVID-19,” a CDC branch chief wrote on Friday.

The CDC’s Kristen Nordlund noted that the CDC is already tracking the potentially-infected.

“CDC is working with the Georgia Department of Health to conduct a rapid epidemiological assessment of confirmed COVID-19 cases that appear to be connected to the 2023 EIS Conference to determine transmission patterns,” Nordlund said.

She also tried to excuse the superspreader organization, blaming the larger circumstances for the CDC’s failure to slow the spread.

“These cases are reflective of general spread in the community,” she said. “It’s not news that public health employees can get COVID-19.”

Norlund said the investigation “will help understand transmission that occurred” and “assist in refining future public health guidance as we move out of the public health emergency and to the next phase of COVID-19 surveillance and response.”

Wherever people gather, she added, “there is the possibility of COVID-19 spread.”

Jay Varma, an infectious-disease expert at Weill Cornell Medicine, also said that the CDC should not be blamed.

“This is, unfortunately, the new normal,” he said. “While it is unsettling to see widespread COVID-19 transmission at CDC’s premier public health conference, it’s probably the clearest example yet” of the larger situation.

For Varma, however, the CDC and other large conference organizers should make masks more available and take other precautions into the foreseeable future.

“I hope that organizers of large conferences, especially for health professionals, should, at a minimum, make high-quality masks as abundant and available as toilet paper and ensure that there is adequate ventilation and/or disinfection of air,” he added.

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