Airborne transmission of COVID-19: WHO issues new guidelines; here’s what you can do to stay safe

How is airborne transmission different from droplet transmission? Here is what you can do to stay safe from respiratory infections like COVID-19.

  • The World Health Organization has recognized that there is a possibility that the coronavirus can spread in the air under certain conditions.
  • The UN body publishes new guidelines on the transmission of COVID-19, including new scientific evidence available on the spread of SARS-CoV-2
  • This is all you need to know about airborne transmission and what you can do to stay safe from the deadly virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday issued new guidelines on the transmission of the new coronavirus, acknowledging some reports of the airborne spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19. In an updated scientific report on the transmission of COVID-19, the UN health agency said that the spread of coronavirus in the air can occur in healthcare settings where specific medical procedures generate very small droplets: aerosols. However, the WHO said more research is urgently needed to clarify the importance of the different routes of transmission of the virus.

The guidelines state that understanding how, when, and in what types of settings the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads among people is critical to developing effective infection prevention and public health measures to break the chains of transmission. The WHO said current evidence suggests that transmission of COVID-19 occurs primarily through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected individuals through their respiratory and saliva secretions, or through their respiratory droplets expelled when they cough, sneeze. , speak or sing. The agency also said that asymptomatic people can also transmit the virus to others, although the extent to which this occurs is still unclear and more research is needed in this area.

WHO stressed that high-quality research is urgently needed to understand the role of airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of aerosol-generating procedures, the dose of virus required to Transmission, configuration, and risk factors for overlapping events occur, as well as the extent of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission. In this article, let us tell you how airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission and what you can do to stay safe from respiratory infections like COVID-19.

What is the difference between airborne and droplet transmission?

Aerial transmission is different from droplet transmission. It tends to refer to the presence of microbes within the droplet nuclei, which are generally considered to be particles <5 µm in diameter.

“Airborne and droplet are two descriptions of a phenomenon. The microorganism that is less than 5 microns is called air and more than 5 microns is called gout. Anyone who has a bacterial, mycobacterial (TB and TB family) or viral respiratory infection: The disease can be spread through that person’s cough and sneeze to other people. Material in the air can travel up to 6-9 feet, and droplets deposit on some surfaces. The bacteria or virus can remain viable on surfaces for a few minutes to a few hours. If we touch that surface and then touch our face / nose / mouth, then there is a chance that it will enter our respiratory system, ”said Dr. Samir Garde, Pulmonologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai.

Dr. Garde further added that if someone coughs or sneezes in front of others without covering it, then the material can enter the respiratory system; This is called getting infected. Getting infected and getting sick are two different things. Even if bacteria or viruses enter our respiratory tract, our immune system fights with it and kills them. Therefore, everyone can become infected but not suffer from the disease. Depending on the type of disease, bacterial or viral, doctors diagnose and treat the condition.

What you can do to prevent getting respiratory infections

  • In today’s scenario, it is always best to wear a mask while venturing into crowded areas to keep respiratory infections away.
  • Try to keep at least 3 feet of physical distance and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face unnecessarily.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette.
  • Avoid crowded places, close contact places and confined and losed spaces with little ventilation.
  • Ensure adequate environmental cleaning and disinfection.
  • To maintain immunity, opt for square Indian food and exercises like Surya Namaskar and Pranayam or any other cardiorespiratory fitness regimen. It can help your cardio-respiratory form and also reduce blood pressure. In addition, it also increases cardio-respiratory efficiency and respiratory capacity.

To prevent transmission, the WHO recommends identifying suspected cases as quickly as possible, testing, and isolating all cases (infected people) in appropriate facilities.

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