COVID-19 as Airborne Disease

Covid 19 As Airborne Disease

Hey, do you know about COVID? Are you aware that my neighbor got infected with the coronavirus? Do you hear the news saying that coronavirus spreads from person to person? These are just one of those questions that you can still hear from your near ones. In fact, there are still so many questions that are yet to be answered.

Just a few months ago, we heard the news of the outbreak of a deadly virus in Wuhan, China. Now, we all know that the whole Earth is infected with this disease. Many of you would have searched about it, and many just are with the brain loaded with so many unanswered questions.

In this article, you’ll know more about COVID-19, its symptoms, and the mode of transmission.

What is COVID-19?

COVID stands for Corona Virus Disease, and 19 denotes the year 2019 in which it outbroke. This is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2 (SARS-COV-2). As of May 9, 2020, more than 3.8 million people worldwide had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Initially, this disease was a mystery for doctors and scientists, but now, we have gained very much information on this disease.

 Symptoms of COVID-19?

Most of you would be aware of its symptoms by now, so just mentioning these under:

·      Flu-like symptoms

·      Runny nose

·      Fever

·      Muscle Pain

·      Loss of taste and smell

·      Pneumonia

·      Shortness of breath

·      Diarrhea

·      Nausea

·      Vomiting

How COVID-19 spreads?

As per latest records and researches, COVID-19 is thought to spread through close contact and from person-to-person. We are still unclear about the mode of transmission of coronavirus yet some suggested modes are explained:

·      Person-to-person transmission: A person who is suffering from COVID-19 has respiratory illness along with a runny nose. He or she coughs badly. In this regard, strong data suggests that while the patient coughs, the virus enters into the air from the mouth through respiratory droplets. Thus, another normal person sitting or standing beside the infected person within one or two feed is at high risk of infection.

·      Transmission through contact: While the corona patient sneezes or coughs, the virus through the respiratory droplets settles on the nearby surfaces. It stays there for a very long time. Any normal person touching that surface gets a virus in his or her hands, and when that hand touches the mouth or nose, the virus transfers into the body.

·      Transmission by air: This mode of transmission is just a suggested one based on many pieces of evidence. It is not yet fully clear about this mode; however, this mode of transmission is still considered and doctors guide their patients about this too.

·      Transmission by animals: At this time, COVID-19 spreading by way of animals is considered low risk. It appears that coronavirus might spread by animals in some situations. It is based on the fact that many animals have been found positive for coronavirus.

What is meant by airborne? Is COVID-19 really airborne?

Airborne diseases are illnesses that spread via air. It is because the pathogenic microorganisms linger in the air for a longer time and sometimes travel to other places. The common airborne illnesses include tuberculosis, and influenza, etc.

So what about COVID-19? Is it airborne? There have been several months into this pandemic that has decimated thousands of economies around the world; scientists still lack information about the exact mode of transmission and spread of coronavirus.

For months, the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have claimed that coronavirus spreads by the droplets coming out of the mouth of an infected patient while coughing, sneezing, or even talking within a few feet away. But anecdotal reports highlight that coronavirus could be an airborne illness. Even WHO has changed its guidance and said in a meeting that “indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others cannot be ruled out”.

Evidence for COVID-19 being an airborne illness

Although it is still unclear whether coronavirus is transmissible by air or not, yet many pieces of evidence support it. Some of the strong ones with their references are enlisted below:

·      A research article was published in nature. Scientists measured the genetic material of the coronavirus in the aerosol samples taken from two hospitals of Wuhan, China-the city where the outbreak likely began. The genetic material was found enormously in the aerosol samples taken from patients’ toilets.

·      A preprint article (yet to be assessed and evaluated) also gave results in favor of COVID-19 being an airborne illness. According to this research, the air and surface samples collected from different areas of the University of Nebraska Medical Center were examined for coronavirus. The results showed that all of the samples were contaminated indicating that SARS-COV-2 may spread through both direct (droplet and person-to-person) as well as indirect mechanism (airborne transmission).

Can you contract COVID-19 from the air?

Having said about the COVID-19 and its mode of transmission, let us dive into the question clicking into your mind-can I contract coronavirus from the air? Well, no one is certain about this yet. Few scientists negate this and a few do believe in its aerosol transmission.

According to the recent news released by BBC, WHO officials are rethinking into the matter of COVID-19 being airborne. WHO officials proclaimed that 239 scientists from 32 different countries strongly agreed and suggested that the virus can also spread by air. Thus, taking into account this news, you can probably contract COVID-19 from the air.

Take-Away Message

No matter the exact mode of transmission of coronavirus, everyone should follow the precautionary measures to prevent the contraction of disease considering the supportive documents. Everyone should follow the SOPS including the wearing of face masks. Moreover, air filtration/purification systems must be installed in every house to ensure the cleanliness of air. Castellex Air series purifiers are best in fast reduction and elimination of airborne particles including bacteria and some viruses.

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