WHO acknowledges the airborne spread of COVID-19

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Airborne spread of COVID-19

On Tuesday the World Health Organization acknowledged the evidence emerging of the airborne spread of the COVID-19 after a group of scientists urged WHO to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease spreads between people.

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead at the WHO, said in a news briefing “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19”.

WHO previously said that the virus that causes COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person.

In an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.

Because those smaller exhaled particles can be in the air, the scientists are requesting WHO to update its guidance.

“The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out, However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this. ” said Benedetta Allegranzi.

“A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission, This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can’t do physical distancing and especially for healthcare workers.” said Benedetta Allegranzi.

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