Airborne particles can spread coronavirus

Scientists warn that smaller particles can infect people quickly and easily
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 7:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 9:26 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Health experts have said the coronavirus can spread through droplets when people are in close proximity, such as when coughing, sneezing, or talking. Those particles that emit normally drop to the floor instead of lingering in the air.

However, scientists now suspect that the virus can be spread through the air, too, through smaller particles called aerosol. They can float around and stay in the air for a longer time than droplets.

That’s why 200 scientists recently published an open letter to the World Health Organization asking them to revise their guidelines after learning so much about aerosol transmission.

Dr. Rachel Roper, an associate professor of immunology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, said that this transmission through the air could be more dangerous to someone who gets infected.

“You can breathe them in and they’ll likely make it all the way down into the lungs because they’re so small,” explained Roper.

The Secretary for North Carolina’s Health and Human Services Department, Mandy Cohen, said that the virus is mostly transmitted through droplets. However, they are still learning new things about the virus every day. “When it’s staying in the air, that can make it more contagious for a longer period of time,” Cohen said of aerosol particles.

Most health experts were on the same page about one thing: safety recommendations. They continue to emphasize wearing a mask in public and distancing from one another.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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