In April, 1,800 people gathered for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference” in an Atlanta hotel. And 181 individuals contracted COVID-19.
None of them required to be hospitalized
The good news is that, according to the CDC, none of those who were infected required to be hospitalized. This may be because more than 99% of the participants assessed had received a COVID-19 vaccination. However, social media users didn’t miss the irony of a superspreader event being organized by the CDC. Dr. Natalia Solenkova tweeted, “I’m sorry, but I’m laughing,” to which a user responded by sharing a video of Alanis Morissette singing her hit song “Ironic.”
Others were more understanding of the mistake, pointing out that participants in conferences are more likely than participants in other conferences to test for and report a COVID-19 infection. Other conference organizers have acknowledged that they “specifically avoid looking for COVID-19 among attendees because it’s bad for local tourism,” according to Vox. About three-quarters of delegates did not wear masks during the four-day CDC meeting because of the local COVID-19 circumstances in the Atlanta area, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Outbreak of Sickness during the Conference
Wearing a mask, however, lowers the risk of infection, particularly in crowded indoor environments where air circulation may be poor, according to health experts who state this often. According to the CDC, its examination of the outbreak of the sickness during the conference shows “that COVID-19 vaccinations, antiviral medications, and immunity from prior infection continue to protect people against serious illness.
“CDC continues to advise everyone aged six months and older to maintain current vaccination status against COVID-19, including acquiring an updated vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccination is beneficial in preventing major illness, hospitalization, and death. The organizers are advising guests to wear their “own high-quality masks and, if possible, also carry COVID-19 rapid tests with them,” per Ars Technica, because a conference is scheduled for the CDC in the same hotel in June.