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Evidence is growing for the airborne transmission of Covid-19

The coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air “for minutes or even hours” even among people who are more than 6 feet apart.

CAPE TOWN – After months of back and forth, the U.S Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally acknowledged the airborne transmission of Covid-19.

In an update on their website on Monday detailing how the virus can be transmitted, the CDC now says the coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air “for minutes or even hours” — even among people who are more than 6 feet apart. 

In July this year, the World Health Organization acknowledged airborne transmission after 239 scientists wrote a letter to the WHO, urging the organization to take airborne spread seriously. 

The WHO had previously said the virus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

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“Some infections can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space,” states the CDC website. 

However, the CDC still maintains that the primary way Covid-19 is spread is through close contact with someone who is already infected.

“All the studies of airborne coronavirus transmission to date have used observational data and epidemiological modelling because conducting scientific experiments to detect tiny infective particles in large volumes of air is extremely difficult,” said historian at the Bloomberg School of Public Health,  Karen Kruse Thomas.

 

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