Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | Cold/Flu | who | airborne | sneezing

Virus Can Live in Air

Influenza virus or coronavirus spreading between people, direct transmission, airborne, to eye, to nose, to mouth
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By    |   Tuesday, 17 March 2020 04:56 PM

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning to medical personnel after a new study revealed that the potentially deadly virus can be spread through the air.

According to CNBC, WHO issued "airborne precautions" for medical staff after studies revealed the coronavirus can survive in the air. Although the virus is transmitted by droplets of liquid through sneezing and coughing, certain medical procedures that can stimulate coughs can suspend those droplets in the air.

"When you do an aerosol-generating procedure in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they stay in the air a little longer," says Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO's emerging disease and zoonosis unit, adding it is "very important that healthcare workers take additional precautions when they are working on patients and doing these procedures."

According to the New York Post, Van Kerkhove said the everyday person should not be concerned, but medical staff might be susceptible when they perform procedures such as intubation, putting a tube down a patient's throat to open the airway in order to assist breathing.

Health officials recommend medical staff workers wear N95 masks that filter out roughly 95% of all liquid airborne particles. The N95 respiratory masks fit more tightly than regular face masks and protect the wearer from smaller, airborne particles. They are not recommended for the general public because they require special fit testing, according to ContagionLive.

Supplies of N95 respirators have dwindled as anxiety around the COVID-19 outbreak rises.

It has been reported that some hospitals in the United States have been unable to get new shipments of the masks, leading to rationing in some sites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers additional strategies to protect healthcare workers from airborne COVID-19 particles. These include: using physical barriers such as plastic windows or curtains; isolating patients in airborne infection isolation rooms, and maintaining proper ventilating systems.

The CDC also suggests measures such as video monitoring to reduce face-to-face encounters with patients.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning to medical personnel after a new study revealed that the potentially deadly virus can be spread through the air. According to CNBC, WHO issued "airborne precautions" for medical staff after studies revealed the coronavirus...
who, airborne, sneezing, coughing, nurses, doctors, pandemic
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2020-56-17
Tuesday, 17 March 2020 04:56 PM
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