World Health Organization admits emerging evidence on airborne transmission of coronavirus

World Health Organization admits emerging evidence on airborne transmission of coronavirus

However, the World Health Organization said more research needs to be done, insisting its previous stance that COVID-19 mainly spreads through contaminated surfaces or close contact with infected people who spread the virus through respiratory droplets.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization official advised against entering crowded and closed settings with poor ventilation and recommenced wearing face masks where adequate social distancing can not be maintained.

"We are concerned that the lack of recognition of the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the lack of clear recommendations on the control measures against the airborne virus will have significant consequences", they wrote.

Scientists believe the virus may have originated in bats, then was transmitted through another mammal such as a civet cat or an armadillo-like pangolin before being passed on to people. "I'm disappointed they didn't move further", Milton commented.

World Health Organization recommends taking specific precautions against aerosols only in hospital settings during specific procedures such as inserting a breathing tube into a patient.

Outdoors, any virus in small or large droplets may be diluted too quickly in the air to pose a risk.

Countries are facing "a delicate balance between protecting their people and maintaining essential health services while minimizing social and economic damage and respecting human rights", Tedros said. "There's not been any indication that this is just airborne and spreading in the community".

These are spaces where people spend a lot of time together, in poorly ventilated settings and in close proximity. In theory, this could allow the virus to still remain transmittable even after a prolonged period drifting in airborne droplets. That has been the agency's position since its first guidance document on infection prevention and control of the COVID-19, which was issued on Jan.10, 2020.

Swaminathan: It's one more mode of [transmission].

The team will deal with logistical questions ahead of a bigger investigation, such as negotiating the composition of the fuller team and what skills the team would need. A simple way of doing this is by opening doors and windows and ensuring good air circulation.

Van Kerkhove: Yes, constantly. "We don't say it doesn't happen".

"We've been working on this for several weeks now". But it does not mean that since COVID-19 is airborne, it means it is everywhere and nothing can be done.

Whereas, airborne transmission involving aerosols or "aerosol transmission" refers to the dissemination of particles that get aerosolized. This are specific types of Personal Protective Equipment that people who are actually performing the procedure and are working in that setting have to wear. "It features the use of masks wherever acceptable in certain options, specifically the place you can not do actual physical distancing, and specially for health care personnel". "This is why the WHO recommends hands and respiratory hygiene", Dr. Poonam Khetarpal Singh, Regional Director of WHO Southeast Asia, had said earlier.

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