The aerosol community has not forgotten how, early in the pandemic, their urgent calls for WHO, CDC, and other agencies to acknowledge the possibility that COVID-19 could be spread through the air - and the tremendous opposition against those calls. The reflections of the outgoing WHO chief scientist only offer further proof that how we view respiratory disease transmission has been fundamentally and permanently changed.
Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect us within 20 minutes of becoming airborne – with most of the loss occurring within the first five minutes, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.
The findings re-emphasize the importance of short-range Covid transmission, with physical distancing and mask-wearing likely to be the most effective means of preventing infection. Ventilation, though still worthwhile, is likely to have a lesser impact.
“People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over meters or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” said Prof