Beijing, April 3
The virus that causes COVID-19 disease is mainly transmitted by “respiratory droplets and close contact,” and does not appear to stay in the air long, according to a recent WHO publication.
Respiratory infections can be spread by droplets of different sizes, said the World Health Organization (WHO).
Transmission of droplets occurs when you have close contact (less than a meter) with someone who has respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, which can spread these potentially infectious droplets, usually 5 to 10 microns, to your body.
Transmission can also occur by touching surfaces or objects in the immediate environment around the infected person, according to the Chinese daily China Daily, quoted in the WHO publication.
Airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission in that it refers to the presence of microbes in the droplet nuclei, which are generally considered to be the smallest particles less than 5 microns in diameter, and which can remain in air for long periods and be transmitted to others over distances greater than a meter, he added.
In the context of COVID-19, airborne transmission may be possible in specific circumstances in which supportive procedures or treatments that generate aerosols are performed, such as intubation in the trachea of a patient, disconnection of a patient with ventilator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
According to the publication, no cases of airborne transmission were reported in an analysis of 75,465 coronavirus patients in China.
Based on current evidence, WHO continues to recommend droplet and contact precautions for those caring for patients with COVID-19. And it is recommended that people take steps to prevent possible airborne transmission during aerosol-producing medical operations, he added.
A total of 1,002,159 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 175 countries and territories with 51,485 deaths reported to date, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. PTI