You might get COVID-19 via airborne transmission, the World Health Organization reported Thursday. People can breathe the virus inside crowded spaces indoors. They can also get it during medical procedures. This WHO report comes at the heels of a letter written by 239 scientists. Released publicly, the group called for WHO to deal with the airborne spread of COVID-19.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The new WHO report added airborne scatter to the ways COVID-19 spreads. In the past, it has said that the virus gets around by touching dirty surfaces. If a person feels his face after the surface, he can get the virus. He could also get sick by getting near a person who is ill. A coughing or sneezing person releases droplets that contain the virus. If another person inhales them, he can get infected.
To avoid catching the virus, the WHO recommends a distance of at least 1 meter to prevent infection. Other than distancing, people should also wear masks when talking to other people. Regular handwashing is also essential. If you cough or sneeze around people, you should cover your mouth with a tissue. You can also use your bent elbow. Covering your mouth and nose stops infected droplets from spreading.
The New WHO Report
According to the WHO, medical procedures can transform COVID-19 droplets into tiny “aerosols.” These aerosols can carry the virus for farther distances. In aerosol form, the virus can also survive for longer. The WHO noted that this kind of transmission happens in overcrowded spaces. Indoor activities like choir practice or fitness classes carry a very high risk of airborne COVID-19 transmission. Still, close contact with other persons is the primary mode of infection.
Recent outbreaks have occurred in “closed settings.” The WHO said COVID-19 broke out in restaurants, gyms, churches, and offices. Talking, singing, or shouting helped propel infected aerosols inside the space. Everyone inside breathed in the virus. The WHO added that buildings with poor ventilation are dangerous. Since infected people might stay there for a long time, they carry a higher risk of infecting everyone else.
CNN also reported that COVID-19 floats in the air for a long time. Donald Milton and other experts wrote the letter warning WHO about the danger of airborne spread. In the letter, they appealed to people to stay away from crowded spaces. They also urged people to use proper ventilation in their buildings. Air conditioning might recirculate the virus in all the rooms of an office building.
How to Keep Safe from COVID-19
To contain the virus, people should wear masks and avoid crowds. They remain the best ways to prevent catching the virus. People should also follow all quarantine guidelines. Good hygiene is also necessary. While the pandemic is dangerous, people can stop it.