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World Health Organization acknowledges “emerging evidence” that COVID-19 could be contracted through airborne transmission

Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2020. 4:35 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Following an open letter by over 230 scientists earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that there is emerging evidence to support a theory that SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, can be contracted through airborne transmission, reports Reuters.

Currently, the WHO’s classification on COVID-19 said that the primary mode of transmission is from person to person followed by contact with droplets left of surfaces from people, within the lifespan of the virus which can vary according to the surface. The WHO’s data also says that the virus quickly sinks to the ground when it is airborne.

The 239 from 32 countries scientists published the open letter on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, outlining the evidence that they say shows people can contract the virus from particles floating in the air. Jose Jimenez, a chemist at the University of Colorado who signed the paper, said that the group decided to go public with the information because the WHO had refused to speak with them about the evidence.

The WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, Benedetta Allegranzi, said that the evidence is emerging, but is still not definitive.

“…The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings -especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” she said.

Scientists believe that the evidence could have serious implications on the global COVID-19 response, including an increased need for wearing masks even indoors, in certain circumstances.


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