Remains in the air: hundreds of scientists believe that the who is underestimating the infectious coronavirus

More than 230 scientists have signed an open letter to the world health organization (who) to reconsider its recommendations for combating coronavirus. They claim that, contrary to the opinion of the who, the virus may linger long in the air that creates additional danger for people, writes

Надолго остается в воздухе: сотни ученых считают, что ВОЗ недооценивает заразность коронавируса

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A letter signed by 239 scientists from 32 countries.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 two meters, which are considered safe distance between people, adds a “5 Channel”.

The authors of the open letter argue that the who relied on data on the prevalence of coronavirus in hospitals, where conditions are much sterile as an other enclosed spaces. Therefore, among the main ways of disseminating the world health organization calls direct contact with the source of the virus, as well as droplet path, ignoring the spray.

Who says that the virus, once in the air, immediately settles on horizontal surfaces, as is transferred in a fairly large and heavy drops. Technical lead of the who infection control Benedetta’s Allegranzi reported that evidence of the spread of the virus through the air unconvincingly.

“Especially in the last couple of months we have repeatedly stated, we believe that transmission by air is possible but not backed up with hard or even clear evidence. This topic is still under debate,” says Allegranzi.

If the transmission of the virus through the air is an important factor of the pandemic, especially in crowded areas with poor ventilation, it may significantly affect the measures of containment of the virus. This may mean that the mask should be worn in the premises, even if compliance with social distance.

The publication notes that the recent surge in the number of victims upon the resumption of companies and office activities confirms what many scientists say several months: “the virus builds up in the indoor air, infecting those who are close”. The room will need to reduce circulation of air and to deliver more powerful filters, and use UV light.

On the website who published the basic safety precautions for the population, which the organization considers necessary to protect against coronavirus. Among them:

  • regularly wash your hands or handle their alcohol level.
  • keep your distance in public places — the minimum should be 1 meter;
  • if possible, do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • to comply with the rules of respiratory hygiene, i.e. cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or crook of the elbow when coughing, sneezing;
  • with increasing temperature, the appearance of cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical help.

The recommendation to wear a mask not in the list. However, in a separate section devoted to the wearing of masks, the organization recognizes that this remedy may help limit the spread of viral infections.

The who noted that a priority in the prevention of transmission of coronavirus from person to person is hand hygiene, distance and other measures.


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