World Health Organization (WHO) says Coronavirus disease COVID-19 can be airborne to some extent
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that more studies have shown that the deadly coronavirus can also be airborne (transmitted through the air).
Researchers and several experts have in recent months come out to claim that the virus is mostly transmitted through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing as well as germs left on inanimate objects.
However while speaking during a virtual news conference on Monday this week, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, explained that although the respiratory disease mostly spreads through such incidents it can as well go airborne staying suspended in the air depending on climate factors including heat and humidity.
Dr Kerkhove said that health officials are aware of several studies in many countries looking at the different environmental conditions that COVID-19 can persist.
She said that many scientists are specifically looking at how humidity, temperature and ultraviolet lighting affects the disease as well as how long it lives on different surfaces, including steel.
“When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer,” she explained in a statement.
Dr Kerkhove further implied that doctors are most at risk and as a result, they have to take extra steps in undertaking airborne precautions when working on patients.
“It’s very important that health-care workers take additional precautions when they’re working on patients and doing those procedures,” Kerkhove implied adding that WHO has already considered some ‘airborne precautions’ for all medical staff.
Among those is to ensure that all health officials make appropriate use of all WHO guidelines including wearing properly working masks every time they are treating patients.
Health officials recommend medical staff to wear so-called N95 masks because they filter out about 95% of all liquid or airborne particles.
“In health-care facilities, we make sure health-care workers use standard droplet precautions with the exception … that they’re doing an aerosol-generating procedure,” Kerkhove said.
Truth about Coronavirus
According to a new study from the United States, US, Coronavirus can live and last for hours in air particles and days on surfaces.
Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress last month that the agency was aggressively evaluating how long COVID-19 can survive, particularly on surfaces.
“On copper and steel, it’s pretty typical, it’s pretty much about two hours,” Redfield said at a House hearing. “But I will say on other surfaces — cardboard or plastic — it’s longer, and so we are looking at this.”
Redfield added that infections contracted from surfaces rather than through the air could have contributed to the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.