Donald Milton, University of Maryland’s environmental health professor said that not only people may transmit the coronavirus directly from one person to another in the form of little droplets during coughing, sneaking or talking; but those little droplets also go up into the air where they can float around for some moment.
These 239 experts want the WHO and CDC to be more up-front about the potential airborne transmission of Covid-19.
“[Health agencies] don’t want to talk about airborne transmission because that is going to make people afraid,” one of the experts says. https://t.co/UkI7I9Dw3J
— CNN (@CNN) July 6, 2020
Milton studied how various viruses transmitted and helped lead a group of two-hundred and thirty-nine scientists who wrote a letter to request better recognition of the possible airborne transmission of COVID-19. Melton says that the airborne transmission of the virus is not a secret, but health agencies seem to be anxious to talk about it.
Milton and his colleagues wrote in a letter published in Clinical Infectious Diseases that the existing guidance from several national and international bodies focuses on hand washing, wearing face masks, droplet precautions, and maintaining social distancing.
Furthermore, they add that many health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), don’t identify airborne transmission of COVID-19 except for vaporizer-generating procedures performed in healthcare settings. Social distancing, hand washing other guidelines are appropriate, but from their point of view, these are insufficient to provide complete protection from virus-carrying respiratory micro droplets in the air by virus-ill people.
Health Organizations avoid talking about airborne transmission
Milton says that his team is hoping that the World Health Organization will come around and be ready to accept the important roles of aerosols, whether they want to name it the airborne transmission of coronavirus or not.
Lidia Morawska, the other leading author and a professor of environmental engineering and a health expert in aerosol science at the Queensland University of Technology, says that their group is discussing the possible airborne transmission of COVID-19 since February. According to Milton, the team wants to explain the word so that health organizations will be less fearful about using it.