Air Filtration Systems Can Reduce Coronavirus Transmissions

Indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19 further researched
AC units on the roof of a building

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the new coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that quickly dissipate and fall to the floor.

In the latest WHO update published on June 29, 2020, the WHO commented ‘airborne transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a risk for healthcare staff only after medical procedures that produce aerosols.’

Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead on infection control, said the evidence for the virus spreading by air was unconvincing.

In a March 2018 study published in The Lancet, Dr. Allegranzi and others concluded ‘Healthcare-associated infections are one of the most common adverse events during care delivery. Specific prevention measures are highly effective, but are often poorly implemented.’

Recently, The New York Times reported on July 5, 2020, that ‘hundreds of scientists now say there is evidence that smaller particles of SARS-CoV-2 floating in the air can infect people and are calling for the WHO to revise its recommendations.’

‘If the airborne transmission is a significant factor in the pandemic, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant.’

These scientists are identifying limited distinctions between tiny aerosols and larger droplets.

The NYTimes reported ‘Whether carried aloft by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, over 200 health experts say ‘the coronavirus is borne through the air and can infect people when inhaled.’

While this NYTimes statement is technically accurate, most agencies discount the actual risk-probability for healthcare staff.

However, the risk for the general public may be more measurable.

Researchers said in an early-release study for September 2020, ‘that existing evidence is sufficiently strong to warrant engineering controls targeting airborne transmission as part of an overall strategy to limit infection risk indoors.’

This study found inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as the 3rd route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets, and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.

They suggest ‘building engineering modifications could include sufficient and effective ventilation, possibly enhanced by particle filtration and air disinfection, avoiding air recirculation and avoiding overcrowding.’

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spreads very similar to 4 of the 100 other known coronaviruses.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.

To clarify how SARS-CoV-2 is most often spread, the CDC stated on June 16, 2020, this coronavirus is spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

These 'infected-droplets' can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 

In general, the more closely a person interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of spreading this coronavirus.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the coronavirus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

But, we are still learning more about how this virus spreads, says the CDC.

COVID-19 pandemic news published by CoronavirusToday.