Experts: Airborne transmission of Covid-19 'dominant'

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Airborne transmission of COVID-19 is not simply possible, there is "consistent, strong evidence" that this is the "dominant" method by which it spreads, according to a new review article published in the Lancet medical journal.

In scientific briefings made available on its website, the WHO defines aerosols as being less than five micrometers in diameter and respiratory droplets as being greater than five micrometers in diameter. However, the Lancet states that droplets with diameters of up to 100 micrometers may be able to spread the virus through the air.

Foremost among its justifications for this claim is the role of superspreader events in spreading COVID-19. These events, whereby a large number of people in the same area are infected with the virus, cannot be explained by close range respiratory droplets or fomites, the review says.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Aerosol transmission of COVID-19
2. Short-range respiratory droplet transmission
3. Size comparison of droplets in micrometers
4. Superspreader events demonstration
5. Transmission with no contact
6. Train disinfection

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Airborne transmission of COVID-19 is not simply possible, there is 'consistent, strong evidence' that this is the 'dominant' method by which it spreads, according to a new review article published in the Lancet medical journal."

"The authors of the review suggest that an over-emphasis on spread through large, respiratory droplets at close range could mean public health policies have been misdirected."

"In scientific briefings made available on its website, the WHO defines aerosols as being less than five micrometers in diameter and respiratory droplets as being greater than five micrometers in diameter. However, the Lancet states that droplets with diameters of up to 100 micrometers may be able to spread the virus through the air."

"Foremost among its justifications for this claim is the role of superspreader events in spreading COVID-19. These events, whereby a large number of people in the same area are infected with the virus, cannot be explained by close range respiratory droplets or fomites, the review says."

"Further evidence in the same direction comes from observations of transmission between people in adjacent rooms in quarantine hotels but never in each other's presence."

"This is not the first time the WHO's emphasis on short-range respiratory droplet and fomite transmission has been questioned. In February, science journal Nature suggested that investing in costly disinfection efforts could have meant underinvesting in more effective ventilation systems."

SOURCES: The Lancet, WHO, Nature, New Atlas
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00869-2/fulltext
https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions
https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations
https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00277-8
https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/covid19-sars-cov-2-airborne-transmission-aerosol-evidence-study/