Events Suggesting the Possibility of Airborne Transmission
- On March 10 in Mount Vernon, a group of choir singers met in their church for their regular Tuesday night practice. A total of 61 singers made it to the rehearsal and one of them suffered from cold-like symptoms. Later on, that person tested positive for COVID-19 and infected 52 more people, 2 of whom died.
- In Guangzhou, China, 9 people tested positive for the coronavirus after dining near each other in an air-conditioned restaurant. The researchers believed that the air-conditioner “blew the viral droplets farther than what they might have normally gone.”
- In Toennies meat plant in Guetersloh German, at least 1,500 staff got infected and the culprit, according to experts, could have been the circulating air inside the enclosed meat plant.
Marowska on Why It’s Hard to Face the Reality
In a paper titled, Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: The world should face the reality, Dr. Morawska together with another research, Junji Cao, emphasized the importance of “facing the reality” about the possibility of COVID-19’s airborne transmission.
The researchers understand that one reason why public authorities refuse to acknowledge the possibility of airborne transmission is because they are having a hard time in “detecting” the virus in the air. After all, successfully making a study about it requires deep knowledge in the complicated principles of airflow.
The problem is the long sampling times for the studies are quite impractical. Additionally, the microbiologists who typically collect the samples are often not experts in airflow dynamics.
However, they reiterated that it’s only possible to take the necessary precautions if the national bodies responsible for the management of the pandemic acknowledge the probability of airborne transmission.
WHO on the Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19
Despite the urging from various scientists, Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi of WHO stands by their previous claims. They stated that although they support the possibility of the airborne transmission route of COVID-19, “it is not supported by solid or even clear evidence”.
However, they also agree that airborne transmission is possible during hospital treatment or procedures that produce aerosols, like:
- Endotracheal intubation
- Turning a patient to prone position
- Open suctioning
- Disconnecting the patient from a ventilator
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation