As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus or COVID-19, people around the world started panicking after information came out about the airborne transmission of the novel virus. Nelson Lee, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta, claimed that there is nothing to panic about.
"We're not talking about long-range transmission that can cause super-spreading events," Lee mentioned as reported by Medicalxpress, he is one of the 239 scientists who sent an open letter to the World Health Organization warning about the rising evidence that the disease can spread through floating micro-particles.
"It's not that you'll get COVID when you go to a grocery store and breathe in the virus—it's not that kind of transmission. We are only referring to micro-droplet transmission beyond two meters in an indoor setting. We want to make sure that people understand this risk and take action to minimize it," he added.
The WHO has stated that the virus that causes the disease mostly spreads through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person, and fall within two meets. But according to evidence, in some indoor settings, the two-meter rule is not enough, Lee and his colleagues clarified a few things. But evidence suggests that in some indoor settings, the two-meter rule may not be enough, prompting Lee and his global colleagues to clarify a few things.
"There is a proportion of smaller particles that can be produced, according to more recent experimental findings," he claims. "For COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, the virus can be transmitted through exhaled breath, talking, coughing and sneezing."
The air particles that are small can hang the air for a longer time, up to an hour in a few cases, and can travel beyond two meters, Lee mentioned, especially in the poorly ventilated areas. Lee who has spent his time researching about the SARS said, "There is pretty strong evidence that under suitable circumstances these viruses can transmit beyond the conventional droplet modes of transmission," he said.
The WHO has stated that it requires more evidence to add the airborne transmission to its guidelines. The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 14.7 million people worldwide and claiming the lives of over 610,000 globally in more than 170 nations.