There is a “real risk” that coronavirus may be in the air, which means that it can propagate through microscopic particles that are trapped in the air, open letter with the support of 239 scientists. Scientists urge the World Health Organization and other public health organizations to change their guidelines to reflect this risk.
“Handwashing and social distance are acceptable, but, in our opinion, not enough to protect against respiratory micro-droplets that carry viruses that enter the air by infected people,” the letter says, “It’s time to get into the airborne transmission of COVID-19.” “.
WHO has stated that it is confirmed that coronavirus is only in the air during aerosol-generating medical procedures performed in medical facilities, such as intubation. It says that the virus mainly spreads through larger respiratory droplets that do not spread so far, so it was recommended to maintain a distance of about 6 feet.
“Respiratory droplets are very large droplets that, for example, when you sneeze, burst from your mouth and fall directly to the ground by gravity,” explained Dr. Ron Elfenbane, ambulance doctor, on Monday at CBSN. “Given that the droplet virus means that the virus can hang in the air for a long time, and all you have to do is go through this cloud and breathe it in and you will catch it.”
Small particles can spread by infected people simply by breathing, laughing or talking, said Elfenbein, who said he agreed with the scientists behind this letter.
In some cases, these tiny particles, called aerosols, can travel up to 30 feet, and there are concerns that they may play a significant role in the distribution of COVID-19.
“I think that’s absolutely accurate,” said Donald Milton, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, CBS News’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. John LaPook. “The point is that you need everyone to be masked and that you have good ventilation.”
The authors cited a study documenting the transmission of the virus to people at several adjacent tables in a Chinese restaurant, although there was “no evidence of direct or indirect contact” between them, as one example of evidence supporting the theory that coronavirus is in the air . ,
“This problem is especially acute in rooms or indoors, especially in crowded places and with insufficient ventilation compared to the number of passengers and long periods of exposure,” the letter said.
“For example, airborne transmission is the only plausible explanationan investigation that took place under such conditions, and others where the recommended precautions related to direct transmission of drops were observed. ”
The authors recommend measures such as opening doors and windows to increase airflow in public buildings using “airborne infections such as local exhaust hoods, high-performance air filtration and bactericidal ultraviolet lighting” and avoiding crowded public places.
“We hope that our statement will raise awareness that the COVID-19 air transmission is a real danger,” they write.
Coronavirus cases across the US, in part due to the reopening of restaurants and bars in some states. New York, once the epicenter of a pandemic, seeing the leap in other communities.
Elfenbane clarified why dining in the open air looks like a safer option.
“The idea is that if you want to go out for dinner, for example, you really have to sit outside, because ultraviolet light and the fact that there is wind and the like tend to reduce the likelihood that you are going to catch this virus against being in a confined space with lots of people, even if you’re 6 feet apart, ”he said.
6/4/20 I interviewed Joseph Allen https://t.co/8EuMdHQsRn.) of @HarvardChanSPHwho says, “We can save lives and the economy,” if we understand the science-based strategies to reduce infection from SARS-CoV-2. #aerosols # COVID-19@j_g_allen @ kprather88https://t.co/P3gYTMboBI
– Jonathan Lapuk, MD (@DrLaPook) June 24, 2020