WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of coronavirus
The World Health Organization (WHO), in a media briefing, Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people, Reuters reported.
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing.
In an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in, Reuters stated.
Speaking at Tuesday’s briefing in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive.
The novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 538,780 people worldwide, while over 11.64 million have contracted the infection so far. Since it was first reported in China, the virus has spread to over 210 countries and territories in the last six months.