- Recently, the World Health Organization finally conceded on the findings that coronavirus may linger in the air
- The virus can spread from one person to the next in crowded indoor spaces
- WHO also acknowledged that infected people can transmit the virus even when they have symptoms or when they don’t have
The coronavirus could be airborne and may linger in the air while being transmitted from one person to another in a crowded indoor spaces, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently conceded.
More than 200 scientists worldwide urged the agency to revisit their research about the possibility of airborne transmission. In an open letter outlined by 239 scientists from 32 countries addressed to WHO, they presented and specified evidence showing that smaller particles of the virus can infect people.
At first, the WHO described this form of transmission as rare and possibly insignificant. But after gathering scientific and anecdotal evidences, it was made clear that airborne transmission is an important piece of evidence on how the virus is spreading.
“It is refreshing to see that WHO is now acknowledging that airborne transmission may occur, although it is clear that the evidence must clear a higher bar for this route compared to others,” Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech, said in an email as reported by The New York Times.
Aside from acknowledging the airborne transmission, WHO also claim that “infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms.” The agency previously said asymptomatic transmission, while it may occur, was probably “very rare.”
In the beginning, WHO noted that airborne spread is only a concern when health care workers are engaged in certain medical procedures that produce aerosols. An aerosol is a respiratory droplet so small it may linger in the air.
“But mounting evidence has suggested that in crowded indoor spaces, the virus can stay aloft for hours and infect others, and may even seed so-called superspreader events,” as reported in The New York Times.
However, some experts said that these revisions were ling overdue, and not as extensive as they had hoped for. We just hope that these new discoveries will play an important role on how to treat the virus and stop it from spreading even more.