Health

WHO admits COVID-19 may be airborne: What happens when an airborne organism enters your body?

  • The WHO has admitted that the spread in the air of the SARS-CoV-2 virus cannot be ruled out
  • A group of scientists wrote to the UN health agency saying there is evidence that the coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people.
  • Scientists have revealed that COVID-19 can affect the entire body and not just the respiratory system

After insisting for months that the new coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that the spread of COVID cannot be ruled out. -19 in the air, especially in public settings In response to the question about the transmission of COVID-19 in the air, the UN health agency acknowledged that there is emerging evidence that the SARS-Cov-2 virus can spread by small particles suspended in the air. An airborne disease is any condition caused by a microbe transmitted through the air.

The WHO’s admission came after a group of 239 scientists from 32 countries accused the agency of underestimating the possibility of airborne spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected about 11,693,770 people and caused at least 539,620 deaths. Worldwide. However, WHO officials have warned that the evidence is preliminary and that further evaluation is required.

“The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings cannot be ruled out, especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated locations that have been described,” said Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO technical leader for prevention and control. of infections, Tuesday. briefing in Geneva. The evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this. ”

“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this,” he added.

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the COVID-19 pandemic at WHO, said the agency will publish a scientific report in the coming days that summarizes the state of knowledge about the virus’s modes of transmission.

What happens when a microorganism in the air enters your body?

When an airborne pathogen enters your body, it causes an inflammatory reaction in the upper respiratory tract, affecting the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. This can lead to a stuffy nose and a sore throat. However, some airborne pathogens can attack the heart, kidneys, and nerves, not just the respiratory system. Researchers have discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can harm the entire human body, including the heart, kidneys, liver, nervous system, etc. Experts said the virus triggers an imbalance in the immune response and excessive inflammation, resulting in collateral damage throughout the body.

Basically, an airborne illness can spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs, talks, or vomits nasal and throat secretions into the air. Airborne microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, can be spread through fine mist, dust, aerosols, or liquids. The researchers said that aerosol particles, which can be generated from an infection source, often remain suspended in air currents and can travel considerable distances, although many particles fall within the vicinity. Infected aerosol particles can be inhaled by susceptible hosts. Research has shown that particles in the air can remain localized in the room or move according to air flow. Therefore, in some cases where there is inadequate ventilation, such as the hospital, the particles may remain in the room and be inhaled by a newly admitted patient.

How to prevent airborne diseases

Some precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting an airborne illness include:

  • Take basic steps like washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Proper hand disinfection
  • Wear a good face mask / respirator or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Avoid or limit the time you spend near any patient who may be a source of infection.
  • Have a negative pressure isolation room.
  • Regular vaccines against diseases believed to be locally present

Controlling and preventing the transmission of airborne diseases requires control of air flow with the use of specially designed ventilation systems, in addition to taking basic measures. In most cases, antiviral agents and antibiotics are not prescribed virus-borne infections. The management of airborne diseases involves interprofessional teams supported by a set of hospital guidelines and regulations.

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