The WHO has been downplaying about the airborne transmission of COVID-19. It has been insisting that COVID-19 spreads predominantly through large respiratory droplets that come out from our mouth whenever we speak or sneeze. Since then several arguments and studies are going over this subject.
Meanwhile, a recent study from the University of Georgia finds out a research that supports the growing proof for airborne transmission of COVID-19 in confined areas. It is alleged that a source patient in China was found to likely spread the virus to a fellow bus rider through the bus’s air conditioning system, which the researchers reportedly found a link to the community spread in China.
FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.
The #coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
To protect yourself:
-keep 1m distance from others
-disinfect surfaces frequently
-wash/rub your 👐
-avoid touching your 👀👃👄 pic.twitter.com/fpkcpHAJx7
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 28, 2020
Ye Shen, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UGA’s College of Public Health and lead author on the study explained, “The risk of airborne transmission has long been suspected, but with limited medical specialty proof. Our study provided epidemiologic evidence of transmission over long distances, which was likely airborne.”
The study, which was published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine, questioned the prevailing thought on how COVID-19 can spread? On this Shen said, “It was largely believed that close contact through droplets is a major cause of transmission for COVID-19. However, the widely adopted social distancing and washing hands did not effectively prevent transmission globally. Instead, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased steadily.”
Even a unique natural experiment was conducted by some of the attendees, by taking out two buses and creating an event. Both the buses had closed windows with their air conditions on and one of those buses carried a patient infected with the virus while the other bus did not. Eventually, in the results, it is found that most of the passengers who later got sick were the ones who rode on the same bus as the infected patient. Though the two groups later mixed in with a larger crowd at a worship event, and the number of new cases was much lower than the cases found in the bus event. Thus,later on, it was suggested that the bus was the major point of transmission.
The researchers of the study further stated that some passengers who later showed symptoms of COVID-19 were not sitting close to the infected passenger. Therefore it shows a scenario where COVID-19 could spread through fine aerosol particles that are being circulated in an enclosed space and in a colder temperature.
Hence, Shen and Li hope that this work will persuade more people to wear face masks in public areas, particularly in indoor spaces.
Shen further states, “Understanding the transmission routes of COVID-19 is vital to contain the pandemic so that effective hindrance methods can be developed targeting all potential transmission routes and Our findings provide will solidly support for wearing face masks in confined environments with poor ventilation”