News - The Emerging Evidence - "Droplet" And "Airborne" Transmission
As the battle against the pandemic rages on, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have acknowledged that there is now evidence emerging that the Coronavirus may spread through airborne transmission, not just droplet.
Initially, the WHO said transmission was via droplet transmission, when a person coughs or sneezes, however over 200 scientists have now signed an open letter accusing the WHO of underestimating the possibility of airborne transmission. The change in transmission method may change the course of future guidelines and preventative measures.
Professor Benjamin Cowling of Hong Kong University - told the BBC the finding had "important implications".
"In healthcare settings, if aerosol transmission poses a risk then we understand healthcare workers should really be wearing the best possible preventive equipment... and actually the World Health Organization said that one of the reasons they were not keen to talk about aerosol transmission of Covid-19 is because there's not a sufficient number of these kind of specialised masks for many parts of the world," he said.
"And in the community, if we're thinking about aerosol transmission being a particular risk, then we need to think about how to prevent larger super spreading events, larger outbreaks and those occur in indoor environments with poor ventilation, with crowding and with prolonged close contact."
Airborne transmission is transmission via much smaller particles that can stay in the air for hours after being released when a person speaks or breathes out, allowing them to travel further and spreading infection over a wider area. Droplet transmission is when a cough or a sneeze spreads the infection through saliva and mucus expulsion.
"The UK banking centre at Canary Wharf is populated with modern skyscrapers featuring the latest in office building technology. The Credit Suisse UK HeadQuarters allows staff to make the most of windows which has meant that the main building services are sited in the middle of the building. As such with long air ducting, their luxury washrooms struggle to maintain air quality and a clean, fresh smelling work place.
They have installed AIRsteril for odour and infection control in their washrooms. Convinced that the bacteria and viruses that cause infections are killed by AIRsteril, the new offices will feature MF units to ensure staff absenteeism is kept to a minimum."
Marylebone Cricket Club
"On a Test Match day at Lord's there are 25,000 people, mostly males, spending all day watching cricket and drinking. With several visits per person during the day the gents toilets can have up to a 10,000 footfall a day. The staff have had difficulty in clearing the resulting odours. The stainless steel trough urinals in some of the washrooms create added problems.
Just in time for a major Test Match, AIRsteril WRX trial units were installed in two of the major washrooms. After just a few hours, the units had managed to get on top of the smell, then controlled the odours throughout the 5 day match. The facilities staff are very pleased and plan to increase the number of installations before the start of the next cricket season."