The Corner

Re: CDC Doublespeak on Ebola

A follow-up to my post on Monday:

The CDC has revised its Q&A on whether Ebola can be spread by coughing or sneezing, but the new Q&A is just another exercise in doublespeak:

There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing.  Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola; the virus is not transmitted through the air (like measles virus). However, droplets (e.g., splashes or sprays) of respiratory or other secretions from a person who is sick with Ebola could be infectious, and therefore certain precautions (called standard, contact, and droplet precautions) are recommended for use in healthcare settings to prevent the transmission of Ebola virus from patients sick with Ebola to healthcare personnel and other patients or family members.

Specifically, the two passages I italicize appear to contradict each other, as coughing or sneezing can generate “splashes or sprays” of “droplets” infected with Ebola.

As for the other inconsistencies I highlighted: The CDC continues to tell the public that “You CAN’T get Ebola through AIR” even as its “guidance document” for public-health professionals remains far more equivocal on the question. And the CDC continues to tell the public that you can’t get Ebola from touching the skin of an infected person even as it tells public-health professionals exactly the opposite. (See previous post for specifics and links.)