WHO team in China for virus origin probe

WHO looks into possibility of airborne coronavirus transmission

World Health Organization acknowledges "emerging evidence" that COVID-19 could be contracted through airborne transmission

A sign at a produce stand reads "No Touching!" at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, WHO, in a Twitter post said, "Droplet transmission is main mode, fomites and airborne possible, especially in closed, poorly ventilated, crowded places".

"Airborne transmission of the virus can occur in health care settings where specific medical procedures, called aerosol generating procedures, generate very small droplets called aerosols".

The WHO brief follows the publication Monday of an open letter from 239 scientists asking the agency to reconsider its position on aerosol transmission, The term refers to microscopic viral particles that can linger in the air and infect people who inhale clouds of those aerosolized particles.

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Scientists believe that the evidence could have serious implications on the global COVID-19 response, including an increased need for wearing masks even indoors, in certain circumstances.

Droplets: WHO's update still maintains that the coronavirus is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets directly or from being exposed to infectedpeople via mouth and nose secretions. Two of the singers died. In a change to its previous thinking, World Health Organization noted on Thursday that studies evaluating COVID-19 outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices and fitness classes suggested the virus might have been spread in the air.

But they did not present evidence for this and China strongly denies it.

US officials have hammered WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for praising China for its "transparency" early in the outbreak, and on Tuesday, the Trump administration formally notified congress of its withdrawal from the organisation, having first announced its intention to do so on May 29. Masks may be necessary for most spaces. The global scientists suggested the virus could be transmitted through smaller particles suspended in the air, in the same way as tuberculosis and measles. "That could be from person to person, or if you are in close proximity, you could catch the virus by breathing, as it stays in the air for 10-15 minutes", she said.

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He compared them to a forest fire, saying a small one was hard to see but easy to put out, while a large one was easy to spot, but very difficult to extinguish.

But Jimenez said that was shown to be incorrect by studies conducted as early as 1934.

He and other researchers said the basic concept has been well established and that debating the finer points had wasted valuable time as the coronavirus spread.

"However, the proportion of exhaled droplet nuclei or of respiratory droplets that evaporate to generate aerosols, and the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2 required to cause infection in another person are not known, but it has been studied for other respiratory viruses", the organisation said.

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