The World Health Organization (WHO) does not rule out that the coronavirus can be transmitted by air, by admitting that there is “emerging evidence” about this possibility, after a group of scientists warning about this form of contagion. Along with modify their recommendations, the agency indicated that research is needed more profound and urgent to clear the doubts.
“We must remain open to this possibility and its implications, as well as the precautions that must be taken,” he acknowledged Wednesday, Benedetta Allegranzi, a specialist of the organization, which in march 2020 was out of the question that the SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by air. ”On the possible route of transmission of air, there is new evidence but not definitive, and that possibility looks especially under very specific conditions,” explained.
The statements of the WHO arise after a group of 239 international scientists warning about the possible spread of the COVID-19 and urgiera the agency to modify its guidelines recommendations, which currently do not consider this route of transmission.
Update of guidelines
In the meantime, the 9th, the WHO published an update of its guidelines recommendations, including for the first time the possibility that it can be transmitted in the form area.
“Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols. The WHO, along with the scientific community, has been discussing and evaluating actively, if the SARS-CoV-2 can also be spread through aerosols in the absence of procedures generating aerosols, particularly in indoor settings with little ventilation,” the document says.
According to the agency, “the current evidence suggests that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 mainly occurs among people through direct contact, indirect, or nearby with an infected person through infected secretions”, such as saliva and respiratory secretions that are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.
He adds that “the transmission of the virus through the air can occur in health care settings where the specific medical procedures, called procedural generation of spray, generate droplets called aerosols. Some reports of outbreaks related with interior spaces full of people have suggested the possibility of transmission of aerosol, combined with the transmission drops, for example, during the choir practice, in restaurants or in gym classes”.
According to the WHO, “what we know currently, the transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly in people when they have symptoms, and can also occur just before they develop symptoms, when they are around other people for prolonged periods of time. If someone who never develop symptoms can also transmit the virus to others, it is not yet clear to what extent this occurs, and more research is needed in this area.”
In this way, points out that “research is needed urgent high-quality to elucidate the relative importance of the different routes of transmission; the role of airborne transmission in the absence of procedures for generation of aerosols; the dose of virus required for transmission to occur; the settings and the risk factors for events of superpredación; and the extension of the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic”.
Latin america, the new epicentre
In the meantime, the director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said that the 8th of July, still has not reached the peak of the pandemic, and that the data available to July 2020 demonstrate that the progression of the disease “accelerates”.
“The number of deaths seems to have stabilized at the global level, (but) in reality, some countries have made significant advances in the reduction of the number of cases, while in others, the dead continue to grow,” said Adhanom.
On the other hand, the director of the Pan american Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, acknowledged Wednesday 8 Latin America and the Caribbean moved to the united States as the epicenter of the pandemic coronavirus in the continent, the reporting of more than 50 percent of the cases in the last week.
The united states accounted for 75 percent of the cases in America two months ago. However, today, Latin america collects half of the nearly three million cases of the infection reported in the continent. The numbers of hiv infections in the region are headed by Brazil, Peru, Chile and Mexico. “The next six months will not be more easy and we can not lower our guard,” admitted Etienne.
* Updated July 9, with conclusions and new guidelines from the WHO
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