AKIPRESS.COM - 239 scientists in 32 countries wrote an open letter to WHO. They have outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles of coronavirus can infect people, and are calling for the agency to revise recommendations against coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reports.
The World Health Organization has long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes, fall quickly to the floor.
WHO, before and during this pandemic, has heavily promoted the importance of handwashing as a primary prevention strategy, even though there is limited evidence for transmission of the virus from surfaces. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says surfaces are likely to play only a minor role.)
If airborne transmission is a significant factor in the pandemic, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant.
Masks may be needed indoors, even in socially-distant settings. Health care workers may need N95 masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for coronavirus patients.
Ventilation systems in schools, nursing homes, residences and businesses may need to minimize recirculating air and add powerful new filters. Ultraviolet lights may be needed to kill viral particles floating in tiny droplets indoors.