SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - An open letter to the World Health Organization titled “It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19” is signed by 239 scientists from 32 different countries and highlights the importance of acknowledging and protecting the public against the possibility that coronavirus can be spread through the air.
One San Diego scientist who signed is from the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Doctor Kim Prather.
The idea shared is that COVID-19 can be spread from aerosols, which are particles that float in the air rather than dropping to the ground like a droplet.
An infected person breathes out aerosols that are suspended in the air, then another person walks through that air and breathes it in.
It’s no secret that heath officials have discussed the importance of good airflow to stop the spread, but this paper says leaders like the WHO are not recognizing the possibility that it is airborne and the “lack of clear recommendations on the control measures against the airborne virus will have significant consequences: people may think that they are fully protected by adhering to the current recommendations, but in fact, additional airborne interventions are needed for further reduction of infection risk.”
Researchers say wearing masks and social distancing are important steps to stopping the spread, but want to also emphasize that other steps need to be taken to stop the spread through the air. Some steps for public places include getting better ventilation and decreases crowds. At home, people can open doors and windows and also use air purifiers to help.