WHO recognizes evidence of airborne spread of COVID-19

Officials with the World Health Organization have acknowledged "emerging evidence" about the airborne spread of COVID-19 during a July 7 media briefing.

A group of scientists recently urged the WHO to update its recommendations about the spread of the novel coronavirus, citing evidence that suggests the virus lingers in the air indoors. The WHO has previously held that research regarding airborne transmission indoors is inconclusive and airborne transmission is possible only after medical procedures that produce aerosols.  

Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, head of the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said the organization has actively engaged with the scientists who wrote the letter since April. 

The WHO is set to release a scientific brief summarizing what's known about virus transmission in the next few days, Dr. Van Kerkhove said.

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