Is COVID-19 confirmed as airborne?

By VARINDIA - 2020-03-25

Is COVID-19 confirmed as airborne?

With coronavirus rapidly spreading its claws around the world, rumors are doing the rounds, be it fake news regarding vaccines or myths regarding COVID-19 cure, we see similar kind of messages on a daily basis.

 

One such news which recently got viral was that COVID-19 air airborne and could survive in the air for more than 8 hours.

 

The message had a link to the CNBC article titled 'WHO considers ‘airborne precautions’ for medical staff after study shows coronavirus can survive in air.’

Claim

COVID-19 is airborne and can be transmitted through the air.

Fact:

The CNBC article clearly mentions that several studies are going on to confirm whether COVID-19 can thrive on surfaces or not. It also states that WHO has recommended medical workers to take precautions as several studies are going on to confirm whether COVID-19 can thrive in air or not. It also states that WHO has recommended medical workers to take precautions as aerosol transmission is possible.


What needs to be cleared here is that airborne and aerosol are two different things. Airborne means the disease can be transmitted through the air, while aerosol means it can spread via droplets or contact transmission.


Medical staff is specially advised to take precautions as they usually perform aerosol generating procedures and thus are more susceptible to infection than anyone else.


Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia said, “Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19. Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other corona viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene.”


Adding to her statement Dr. Singh said, “The Chinese authorities reported that there could be a possibility of aerosol transmission in a relatively closed environment with prolonged exposure to high concentrations of aerosols, like in ICUs and CCUs in hospitals, but more investigations and analysis of epidemiological data is needed to understand this mode of transmission of the virus.”

 

This article is taken from Times of India


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