Friday, July 10, 2020

Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus Disease

The World Health Organization has resisted admitting that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through air beyond 6 feet since January, 28.

However, although it is true that transmission is most likely to occur through close physical contact, there is also significant evidence from the Diamond Princess and other cases that airborne transmission is possible.

This uncomfortable possibility of airborne transmission was finally acknowledged by the World Health Organization.

As observed in this article published in The Los Angeles Times, the "heart" of the scientific debate over airborne transmission concerns the size and volitility of particles we exhale, which the virus rides in search of its next host:
Read, R. (2020, July 9). World Health Organization acknowledges that coronavirus can linger in the air. The Los Angeles Times.

Under growing pressure from researchers, the World Health Organization acknowledged Thursday that the coronavirus can linger in the air indoors and potentially infect people even when they practice social distancing.

The United Nations agency had maintained that such airborne transmission occurred only during certain medical procedures and that nearly all infections occur when people inhale respiratory droplets expelled in their immediate vicinity or when they touch contaminated surfaces.

But mounting evidence — including “super-spreading” events in which multiple choir singers, restaurant diners or dance students were infected — suggests that the virus can be transmitted through microscopic droplets known as aerosols that can float in the air, potentially for hours.

...At the heart of the scientific debate is the size of the particles that people exhale and whether those particles quickly fall to a surface or hover in the air. The droplets that humans expel when they cough, sneeze or breathe vary widely and can break into smaller pieces in the air.

Based on the research I've examined since January, its clear that Covid-19 is more than a respiratory disease. Many people who get it will suffer lasting organ damage and compromised immune systems.

The idea that Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that 99 percent of people will get and survive without any consequences is simply falsified when we consider clinical evidence published in medical journals. I follow JAMA.  Here is their latest:
Wiersinga WJ, Rhodes A, Cheng AC, Peacock SJ, Prescott HC. Pathophysiology, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review. JAMA. Published online July 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12839

In order to get the public on board with the necessity for taking precautions seriously, it will be necessary to have honest risk communication about the nature of the hazard and the conditions under which contagion actually ocurr.

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