Coronavirus can float in air droplets and is likely transmitting that way, a group of experts plans to say in a commentary Monday.
They are publishing an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies, asking them to be more forthright in explaining how the virus can transmit in the air.
It’s not a secret, but agencies seem to be afraid to talk about the airborne nature of the virus, said Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland who studies how viruses are transmitted.
The airborne transmission word seems to be loaded,” Milton, one of two main authors of the letter, told CNN on Sunday. “I guess we are hoping that WHO will come around and be more willing to acknowledge the important roles of aerosols, whether they want to call it airborne transmission or not.”
Milton studies the airborne transmission of viruses. The other main author, Lidia Morawska, is a professor of environmental engineering and an expert in aerosol science at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Milton said they and a group of other, similar experts have been discussing the potential airborne transmission of coronavirus since February.
The letter, signed by 239 scientists from around the world, is scheduled to be published Monday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.