Two of the most trusted health organizations, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) had to retract public statements about the virus that were misleading.
Although the main source of COVID-19 transmission is from person to person, the CDC had to amend guidelines updated on May 20th, 2020 that falsely claimed infection from contaminated surfaces is rare. We do not yet know how easily infection occurs from touching contaminated surfaces, so continue using hand sanitizer and washing hands for 20 seconds.
The WHO also had to walk back a false statement on June 8, 2020 that asymptomatic transmission is rare. We do not know how much of viral spread is caused by asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals and studies published the week prior indicate rates of asymptomatic transmission could be relatively high.
It is important to note the CDC and WHO remain two of the most trusted sources for accurate information about COVID-19. A global and rapidly evolving health crisis makes occasional mistakes inevitable. Correcting misleading statements is a testament to an individual or institution’s credibility.
Myths & Fake News
Myths about COVID-19 are not the same as mistakes made by sources of expertise and integrity who will swiftly and publicly correct a mistake.
For the best COVID-19 information, see resources like the CDC, the WHO and this navigator. If a mistake is made, we will immediately correct it.
For a list of common COVID-19 myths. The WHO also lists common COVID-19 myths.