GENEVA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report urging it to update guidance on the novel coronavirus after more than 200 scientists, in a letter to the health agency, outlined evidence the virus can spread in tiny airborne particles. The WHO says SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in. Because those smaller particles can linger in the air, the scientists are urging WHO to update its guidance. “We are aware of the article and are reviewing its contents with our technical experts,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday in an email.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.