WHO alert on airborne spread of the virus

#GS3 #Health #Diseases # Covid-19


Why in news?

Union Health Ministry on Thursday said it is “closely watching the dynamic evolution of the virus situation in India, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now indicating that the virus may be airborne. 


WHO said what?

  • The WHO acknowledged that there is emerging evidence for the airborne spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 
  • A group of scientists has written to the UN health agency saying there's evidence that coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people 
  • Previously WHO had said the virus spreads only through droplet transmission.


Difference between Droplet transmission and Airborne spread

Respiratory infections can be transmitted through droplets of different sizes: 

  • When the droplet particles are >5-10 μm in diameter they are referred to as respiratory droplets. Droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1 m) with someone who has respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing or sneezing) and is therefore at risk of having his/her mucosae (mouth and nose) or conjunctiva (eyes) exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets. Since droplets are heavy they will drop to the ground eventually. 
  • Airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission as it refers to the presence of microbes within droplet nuclei, which are generally considered to be particles <5μm in diameter, can remain in the air for long periods of time and be transmitted to others over distances greater than 1 m. 

 Source: The Hindu

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