ATLANTA (CBS46) -- As Georgia and other states continue to re-open, some people have been heading back to the gym to try to shed some of the weight many gained during the stay-at-home orders. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control may give pause to those thinking of hitting the gym, including athletes.
According to the study published by the CDC, officials in South Korea found that out of 217 students exposed in 12 gyms in the city of Cheonan, COVID-19 had an initial attack rate of 26.3 percent. As the doctors used contact tracing to investigate, they found a secondary attack rate of 4.1 percent and a tertiary attack rate of 2.39 percent.
Among those who developed COVID-19, all were women in their early 40’s and only 10 had pre-existing conditions at the time of admission for isolation. The most common symptoms among those cases was cough and pneumonia. The study found the median time from admission to end of isolation ranged from 13-66 days after symptoms began.
“Characteristics that might have led to transmission from the instructors in Cheonan include large class sizes, small space, and intensity of the workouts,” the authors said. “The moist, warm atmosphere in a sports facility coupled with turbulent air flow generated by intense physical exercise can cause more dense transmission of isolated droplets.”
The authors noted that a teacher who taught Pilates and yoga in the same facility had none of her students test positive for the virus. They hypothesized that the lower intensity of Pilates and yoga did, “not cause the same transmission effects as those of the more intense fitness dance classes.”
In the end, the authors concluded, “because of the increased possibility of infection through droplets, vigorous exercise in closely confined spaces should be avoided during the current outbreak, as should public gatherings, even in small groups.”