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Scientists say that WHO underestimated the risk of airborne transmission



Regent Barbers barber shop owner Alan Kelly (L) wears PPE (personal protective equipment), masks or face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which will also be reflected in the mirror when he trims the client’s hair. On June 29, 2020, a facial mask in Dublin began to relax due to locking measures.

PAUL FAITH | AFP through Getty Images

According to reports, a team of 239 scientists from 32 different countries is preparing to issue an open letter to the World Health Organization in the next few days, urging the UN health agency to update its recommendations for coronavirus.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the team of scientists believes that WHO needs to pay more attention to the role of Covid-1

9 airborne transmission.

Experts are expected to publish letters and findings supporting their views in this week’s “Clinical Infectious Diseases” medical journal.

This seems to contradict previous evidence that the virus spread from person to person through droplets in the nose or mouth. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, these substances are expelled.

The current WHO guidelines indicate that coronavirus is mainly transmitted from person to person through these respiratory droplets and contact. The health agency stated that this is why it is important to keep a distance of at least one meter away from others and wash your hands regularly or use alcohol-based hand cleaners.

However, according to reports, this group of scientists will summarize the evidence that smaller particles (which can travel longer distances) can also infect people.

A WHO spokesperson told CNBC on Monday that it already knows the open letter of the report and that the technical experts of the organization are currently reviewing its contents. The spokesman added that the report is “very likely” to be reported at a regular press conference on Monday.

The WHO has previously stated that it will continue to evaluate “on-going research on Covid-19 transmission methods and will continue to share the latest findings.”

Airborne transmission

The New York Times reported that the author of the letter believed that the virus was spread by air and would infect people when inhaled. Whether it is carried by a large droplet in a high place after sneezing or a small droplet that will slide across the room.

They claim that the emerging evidence shows that airborne transmission is more important than WHO has recognized so far.

In a scientific briefing on its website, WHO stated that airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission. It pointed out that airborne transmission refers to the existence of very fine particles, which can be retained in the air for a long time and spread to others within a distance of more than one meter.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, to date, nearly 11.5 million people worldwide have been infected with Covid-19, of which 534,460 people have died.

To date, the United States has recorded the largest number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, reporting nearly 2.9 million cases and 129,947 deaths.


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