CNN reports Dr. Harvey Fineberg, Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Health Threats in the 21st Century, sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday in response to an investigation into the possibility of the spread of the disease. speech coronavirus.
“While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with the aerosolization of the normal respiratory virus, “wrote Fineberg.
“This letter answers your question about the possibility that [coronavirus] could spread through conversation, in addition to sneeze / cough droplets, “wrote Fineberg. “The research currently available supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could spread via bioaerosols generated directly by the patient’s exhalation. ”
Fineberg explains in the letter that research in China shows that the virus can be suspended in the air when health workers remove protective equipment, or when staff are on the move or floors are cleaned. Fineberg said that aerosolized coronavirus droplets can hang in the air and possibly infect a person who passes by later, but how long the virus stays in the air depends on several factors.
“If you generate an aerosol of the virus without circulation in a room, it is conceivable that if you walk later, you can inhale the virus,” Fineberg told CNN. “But if you’re outside, the breeze will probably disperse it.”
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for social distance recommend that you stay at least 6 feet from others if you are contagious or fear exposure. to a contagious person.
The virus is spreading from person to person by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouth or nose of nearby people or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Fineberg told CNN that he would start wearing a mask when he visited the grocery store.
“I’m not going to wear a surgical mask because clinicians need it,” Fineberg told CNN. “But I have a nice western style bandana that I could wear. Or I have a hood. I have great options. ”
His comment comes as the best health authorities plan to recommend the widespread use of masks in the United States
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