Pneumonia epidemic: WHO says it does not rule out airborne transmission
The World Health Organization stated this week that the transmission of new coronavirus aerosols is not ruled out in a closed environment. This is five months away from the time China confirmed the aerosol transmission.
Although researchers welcome the WHO’s position, some experts believe that such a position may come too late.
As of July 10, there have been more than 12 million confirmed cases of infection worldwide, of which more than 550,000 have died.
World Health Organization Director General Tan Desai said that the current epidemic is still spreading globally. This week, WHO announced the launch of an independent pandemic preparedness and response team to assess the world’s response to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Reasons why the WHO changed its attitude
Previously, 239 scientists from 32 countries issued an open letter to the World Health Organization and other health institutions, calling on authoritative health authorities to update relevant information about the new coronavirus.
The open letter, entitled “It’s Time to Solve the Problem of Airborne Transmission of New Coronavirus”, called on WHO to pay more attention to the problem of airborne transmission of New Coronavirus.
The letter wrote: People are very likely to inhale the virus in tiny respiratory droplets at close to medium distances. We are here to take precautionary measures to control this airborne route.
The World Health Organization stated that it does not rule out the possibility of aerosol transmission of new coronavirus in indoor and enclosed spaces, but more research and forensics are still needed.
The World Health Organization recommends that regardless of the outcome, the public should take comprehensive precautions, maintain social distance, wear masks on appropriate occasions, wash hands frequently, and so on.
What should we do now?
The way in which the virus spreads determines how to stop the spread of the virus.
From the beginning, the World Health Organization’s anti-epidemic guidelines recommended that the public wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds, take social isolation, and stay away from people.
But scientists believe that although these measures are still effective, they are not enough to prevent airborne viruses.
As of now, the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization on its official website still show that airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission. Viral airborne transmission means that the virus may stay in the air for a long time and spread within a distance of more than one meter.
Experts believe that in poorly ventilated and relatively narrow rooms, the concentration of aerosols carried by infected persons will quickly increase, and the probability of infection will increase greatly. However, in outdoor open spaces, the new coronavirus may spread with the wind, but its concentration and infectivity are diluted, and its infectivity is greatly reduced.
As more and more countries are gradually unsealed, and some have experienced a second wave of outbreaks, the problem of virus transmission through the air has attracted more and more attention from health authorities.