CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: Airborne transmission |
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CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: Airborne transmission
Dr KK Aggarwal,  12 July 2020
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970:   WHO confirms theres emerging evidence of airborne transmission of coronavirus

CNN: The WHO has confirmed that there is emerging evidence of airborne transmission of the new coronavirus. The confirmation came after the publication of a letter signed by 239 scientists calling for the agency to be more forthcoming about the odds that people can contract the virus from droplets floating in the air. WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr. Benedetta Alleganzi, said, "We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the COVID-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken.”

Several among the letters signatories are engineers, thus adding to the expanding knowledge about the importance of ventilation. “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19, as well as droplet,” said infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkove, with WHOs Health Emergencies Program. WHO has looked at fomites, fecal oral, mother to child, animal to human transmission as well.  

The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, particularly in specific conditions, such as crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings, cannot be ruled out.

Airborne droplet nuclei are particles of respiratory secretions <5 microns. Droplet nuclei can remain suspended in the air for extended periods and thus can be a source of inhalational exposure for susceptible individuals. 

Good for India if it is airborne -

  1. Focus will change to airborne prevention.
  2. TB is also airborne; control measures will also control it.
  3. Measles and chicken pox are also airborne and will get prevention focus.
  4. Airborne infection isolation rooms will become a reality in every emergency room and healthcare settings.
  5. N95 masks will become a fashion and reality in crowded, poorly ventilated, closed and polluted settings.
  6. N95 industry will boom in the country.
  7. N95 masks will make life easier due to reduction in PM 2.5 related illnesses and will reduce the burden of heart attacks and paralysis.
  8. Role of air purifier will become more important in indoor settings.
  9. There will be surge of open ventilation, ventilated houses and hospitals and open restaurants.
  10. Gatherings will become less crowded.


Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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