At least 239 scientisits are asking the World Health Organization to take airborne transmission of coronavirus seriously. Read more here.
Measures like social distancing and the enhanced community quarantine are put in place because of how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads. Based on what medical and health experts tell us, we know we can get it through respiratory droplets produced by the sneezes and coughs of infected people.
According to new but limited research, there is a possibility that people with COVID-19 can spread it when they talk and even breathe. This is according to a letter by Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences, and addressed to addressed to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The results of the limited studies examined by the committee suggest it is possible that when an infected person breathes or talks, the coronavirus might dwell in the air and infect another when he inhales it.
However, Dr. Fineberg says it is difficult to determine how long the coronavirus lingers in the air. He tells CNN this depends on factors such as how much of the virus the infected person exhales and the amount of circulation in the air.
Fineberg explains, “If you generate an aerosol of the virus with no circulation in a room, it’s conceivable that if you walk through later, you could inhale the virus. But if you’re outside, the breeze will likely disperse it.”
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On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one way the virus spreads from person to person is through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks.
The Department of Health (DOH) provides the same guidance and reminds the public to stay one meter away from people with respiratory symptoms because COVID-19 transmission usually occurs among close contacts.
Live Science adds that this finding could help explain how asymptomatic and mildly infected people spread COVID-19. Epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman, who heads the Climate and Health Program at Columbia University, tells Live Science that until scientists determine the true viability of the virus in different settings and conditions, all potential routes of transmission should be considered.
This finding reiterates the importance of staying away from others and wearing a mask when you have to go out, even if you don’t feel sick.
A previous SmartParenting.com.ph article reports that under a new guideline from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, anyone who goes outside during the enhanced community quarantine is required to wear a mask (anything that can cover their nose or mouth). This can include face masks, DIY masks, handkerchiefs, and more.
Remember that a mask will not guarantee complete protection against COVID-19. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth, and it should be replaced every eight hours or whenever it gets wet or damp. Finally, avoid touching the mask when you remove it from your face and wash your hands often.