Under Corona-appreciated danger: researchers addressed an urgent appeal to the WHO

More than 200 scientists of various disciplines have addressed an appeal to the WHO and health authorities. Request an update to the Corona-guidelines, since the aerosol transmission is not sufficiently taken into account. Even medical experts have already spoken about.

The Transmission of the Coronavirus on aerosols must be taken more seriously. The researchers claim in a commentary published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Dieseases”. 239 scientists have signed this appeal.

As an Aerosol suspended in the air droplets which are smaller than five microns. Each person gives such a fine mist when you Exhale, Talk, Laugh or Sing. The evidence that the causative agent of Sars-CoV-2 about this floating droplet can be transferred, and that standing or only circulated air in closed environments, the risk of infection with corona virus is significantly increased, had increased in the last few months. Aerosols can hover in confined spaces for hours in the air.

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Aerosols as a key mode of Transmission

Many studies, for example, Mers-CoV, and Influenza have shown, the authors of the appeal argue, that could spread this virus via aerosols. “We have every reason to believe that Sars-CoV-2 behaves similarly and aerosols are a key Transmission path,” it says in the comment.

The role of these aerosol transmission of the pandemic would not recognise the WHO and other public health organizations enough, my scientists. Therefore, you would not sufficiently taken into account in recommendations for protective measures.

It must be taken measures for the prevention

Hand-washing and Social Distancing are appropriate, but insufficient to protect against Virus-carrying to ensure that air particles that are emitted from diseased people. This applies in particular for enclosed spaces. Therefore, the authors call for, in particular, three measures, namely:

  • to guarantee a sufficient and effective ventilation (supply of fresh air from the outside, air circulation to avoid), and in particular in public buildings, workplaces, schools, hospitals and homes for the elderly
  • To expand ventilation, for example, by Extraction and air filtration system or germicidal, ultra-violet light
  • crowded spaces and crowds of people generally to be avoided, in particular in terms of public transport and public buildings

“Call WHO would be warranted from a scientific point of view, urgently”

“In the face of still rising global infection would be numbers at the same time the implementation of easing measures in some countries, a call of the WHO for the protection against SARS-CoV-2-containing aerosols is desirable, and from a scientific point of view, urgently needed,” commented the physician Clemens Wendtner, the first of the German-Corona-treated patients.

“Just aerosols with a particle size below five microns can spread in a cough attack up to ten meters in a closed room. There are numerous publications on infection chains in Restaurants without a demonstrable direct contact of the visitors with each other,“ explains Schwabing district, the chief doctor of the infectious diseases and tropical medicine at the Munich clinic. Same is true for choir performances, or especially from a German point of view, for the contagion of employees in large slaughterhouses, the “most likely to be caused by multiple circulation of unfiltered cooling” air.

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    “Has the Transmission underestimated by room air in the beginning”

    The current call is predominantly of experts from the fields of chemistry, physics, and Engineering signed; Virologists and physicians are more likely to be involved less.

    “I think it is a rather academic discussion,” explains Isabella Eckerle, head of the research group "emerging viruses" in the Department of infectious diseases at the University of Geneva. “You can droplet and the contained genome or infectious Virus according to physical properties, and to examine, under this aspect, physicists, building engineers, and others consider the Transfer – or to the classical medical criteria that distinguish between aerosols and droplet infections for defined pathogens.” The truth map, it need both sides.

    Certainly SARS-CoV-2 is not the case in the category of ‘classic’ Aerosol-transmitted pathogens, such as measles or chicken pox, explains the expert. These pathogens are extremely contagious. You could be infected even if you enter a space in which hours have previously stopped, the Sick, without the Diseased personally encountered.

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    “Such a scenario is in the case of SARS-CoV-2 not to accept. However, it is overestimated at the beginning of the epidemic, Transmission via surfaces a bit and Ill Transfer through the vicinity, also by the same air in a room, somewhat underestimated,“ says Eckerle. Now, therefore, pragmatic decisions need to be taken in order to prevent infections.

    “I think you have to take a pragmatic approach to the Knowledge we currently have on the pathogen, into meaningful, actionable recommendations to translate. Also when you go out for a certain proportion of aerosol transmissions, it will not be possible or expedient to recommend FFP3 masks in the population,“ explains the expert. “On the other hand, we have plenty of documented transmission events – including super-spreading Events that have taken place in closed rooms.” These situations, it is important to avoid or at least to use a mouth-nose protection.

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