The world health organization has expanded its leadership in the coronavirus include information about the possibility of aerosol transmission of the virus, where the infection can spread through the tiny droplets remaining in the air, writes NBC News.
The update appeared Thursday, July 9, after an open letter signed by more than 200 scientists has forced the Agency to recognize the potential role that tiny droplets (or aerosols) play in aerial transmission of the virus among people in a crowded room.
“It was reported on outbreaks of COVID-19 in some enclosed spaces, such as restaurants, Nightclubs, places of service or work, where people could scream, talk or sing, — stated in the updated review, data from the who. In these outbreaks cannot be ruled out transmission by aerosol, particularly in crowded and poorly ventilated areas, where infected humans spend extended periods of time around others.”
The Agency said that more research is needed “to urgently investigate these cases and assess their relevance for the transmission COVID-19”.
The expanded guide who notes that the aerosol — only a small part of the spread of the coronavirus, and that close contact with an infected person is still the most common method of transmission.
“You can apply all these definitions, but we have always been concerned about the spread of the virus while people stay in small spaces for a long time,” said Cindy Prince, an epidemiologist from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
For respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, the medical community calls the two main propagation paths: airborne and aerosol. When airborne transmission of virus particles can fly out of his mouth or nose when a person speaks, coughs or sneezes. Droplets can spread to a distance of 6 feet (about 2 meters) from an infected person, but then fairly quickly fall to the ground or other surface.
In aerosol transmission, in contrast to airborne virus particles are much smaller and much longer linger in the air. They can cover a much greater distance than 6 feet, which are considered safe distance between people. The smallest particles can also be removed from the infected person, “floating” in the air flow. Measles, varicella and tuberculosis — diseases that can be transmitted by aerosol.
When Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases of the United States, asked about aerosol spread of the coronavirus, he said, “there is No convincing evidence that this type of transmission occurs. But we cannot completely exclude this”.
Despite the fact that airborne droplet and aerosol types of transmission differ from one another, they are not mutually exclusive, said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease, associate Professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.
“We often think about these clinical definitions as disparate, but that’s not entirely accurate, said Bogoch. — When we think about COVID-19, maybe some kind of aerosol transmission, but it’s safe to say that most of the transfer accounts for an air-drop way.”
Bogoch pointed to the hospital protocols as a key indicator that aerosol transmission may be rare. In the treatment of patients with coronavirus most hospitals adhered to the guidelines of infection control designed for airborne transmission, rather than the more rigorous procedures to protect against infections transmitted by aerosol.
According to Bagaha if the disease COVID-19 has actually been transmitted predominantly by aerosol, the rate of infection among health care workers would be much higher.
“Our personal protective equipment — masks, gowns, gloves and protection eye — selected as precautions against airborne transmission, in most cases, when we have access to these things and use them correctly, we don’t get this infection,” he said.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, Executive assistant to the Dean of the Medical school of Emory University in Atlanta, said that transmission by aerosol is likely to represent a risk in certain conditions, but who do not pose radically different recommendations than those that have already been published.
“If I am in a crowded small room with a group of infected people, there must be transmission by aerosol, but if I am in a large room or outside, and someone is nearby, I’m not too worried about the spray path,” he said.
According to Prince, the updated information should reinforce the already existing recommendations of the officers of the public health, such as the practice of social distancing and avoiding crowded areas.
And regardless of whether it is mandatory, people have to wear masks in public, I’m sure del Rio.
“Everyone should wear a mask, — he said. We must convey to people that there are no other options”.