Experts Say COVID-19 Is Airborne: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe
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Over 230 scientists have written to the World Health Organization (WHO) urging them to update their guidance pertaining to the risk of airborne spread of COVID-19.
What is airborne transmission?
According to the World Health Organization, airborne transmission involves tiny virus-containing droplets suspended in the air (aerosols) that linger for some time and are carried over distances greater than 1 metre on air currents.
These droplets, less than five microns in diameter, contain less virus than large respiratory droplets, but unlike the latter they don’t fall rapidly to the ground.
How COVID-19 spreads through aerosols
Research has found that people with the virus can expel pieces of it when they exhale, talk, or cough.
Those tiny viral pieces, called micro droplets, can be so small that they’re able to float in the air and potentially travel a distance of multiple meters.
Some micro droplets can travel across an entire room.
People can then inhale those minuscule viral particles, then contract COVID-19 and get sick.
According to the paper sent to the WHO, previous evidence suggests that Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the flu can also be spread through microdroplets that can potentially travel far distances indoors and be inhaled.
It seems that COVID-19 behaves similarly, but experts still are not sure how often people contract the disease via this type of airborne transmission.
“Originally, it was thought that the major way that the virus was transmitted was from person to person by large particle droplets, which basically only travel about 6 feet or so and fall to the ground very quickly,” said Dr. Dean Winslow, infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care.
So what does this mean for your risk of infection? It is related to two major factors: time and viral exposure.
“It’s a product of the exposure — that is the amount of virus present in the air or atmosphere — times the time you’re exposed,” Winslow said.
This risk is higher indoors. Outdoors, the aerosols evaporate and disperse much more quickly, according to Winslow.
Originally, it was thought that the major way that the virus was transmitted was from person to person by large particle droplets, which basically only travel about 6 feet or so and fall to the ground very quickly.
Newer research strongly suggests that airborne transmission plays a bigger role than previously thought.
“Small particle aerosols may actually be as important to even more important than these large particle droplets in terms of transmitting the virus,” Winslow said.
The risk is greatest in indoor environments — think crowded bars and restaurants — where there’s limited exchange of air and these small particle aerosols can stay aloft in the air for a significant period of time, Winslow noted.
How to protect yourself from airborne spread
Handwashing, physical distancing, and donning a face mask are key safety measures to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Face masks are critical in reducing the risk of spreading or being exposed to the virus via aerosols.
There are some ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 virus
* Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
* Wearing facemask. Facemasks offer some protection and are critical in reducing the risk of spreading or being exposed to the virus via aerosols.
* Seek medical help when you have some symptoms of corona virus.
* Avoid live animals and raw foods.
* The scientists also suggests avoiding crowded indoor environments, like bars or indoor dining, and minimizing trips to the grocery store.
These things are very important and are key safety measures to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Do you have symptoms of COVID-19? Your options for care
Some symptoms of Covid-19 (backlink) is likely flu so you have to visit doctor for some tests as soon as you can. Otherwise, call your primary care provider and discuss symptoms before visiting a healthcare facility, or book online video doctors visit/telehealth consultations through mobile app Medihome or call healthline 19009204 in Vietnam.
Medihome is one of the best-known telehealth providers that allows patients to receive medical advice and instructions at home by providing them with a platform to connect with real doctors.
Users can make health-related inquiries, look up medications, and search for the nearest clinics and pharmacies at the comfort of their own home.
For patients who prefer to see their doctor in person, Dr.Binh Tele_Clinic is always open and continue to welcome patients for their appointments. The health care organization is closely monitoring COVID-19 and is following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, MOH of Vietnam in the care of patients.
Source: Heathline, Theguardian