HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — More than 200 scientists around the world are putting pressure on the World Health Organization to recognize that COVID-19 can be airborne.
“We are concerned that the lack of recognition of the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the lack of clear recommendations on the control measures against the airborne virus will have significant consequences,” said a letter backing the claim, which was signed by 239 scientists from around the world.
“You breathe small particles, and they can go directly into your lungs, and so, there are viruses, like influenza, that can be transmitted by all three ways, and we suspect that the SARS-COVID-2 may also be correct,” said Dr. Pedro Piedra, professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
It could mean your risk of contracting the infection indoors may be greater than previously thought, according to researchers. The World Health Organization is now examining the claim with a team of experts.
As the virus has evolved, so has what we know about the infectious disease.
Last week, STAT News reported fever checks may not be as reliable in catching COVID-positive travelers and suggested smell tests could be a more reliable indicators of infection.
A recent study shows that people infected with COVID were only 2.5 times more likely to experience fever and chills but 27 times more likely to suffer from loss of taste or smell.
While new information evolves, doctors maintain your best defense against becoming infected is following social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask.
“Hospital capacity is critical to getting us through the pandemic, so people have to understand that while they may not want to be told to wear masks or maintain their social distancing, they’re truly protecting the integrity of the healthcare system where they live, and if you can’t do it for yourself, then please do it for other people out there,” said Dr. Alex Eastman, Sr. Medical Officer-Operations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Source: ABC 13