Pandemic Exposes Scientific Rift Over Proving When Germs Are Airborne

July 16, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified July 17, 2020

According to this recent article in Medscape, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed a clash among medical experts over disease transmission that stretches back nearly a century – to the very origins of germ theory.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization acknowledged this week that the novel coronavirus can spread through tiny droplets floating in the air, a nod to more than 200 experts in aerosol science who publicly complained that the U.N. agency had failed to warn the public about this risk.

Yet the WHO still insists on more definitive proof that the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, can be transmitted through the air, a trait that would put it on par with measles and tuberculosis and require even more stringent measures to contain its spread.

“WHO’s slow motion on this issue is unfortunately slowing the control of the pandemic,” said Jose Jimenez, a University of Colorado chemist who signed the public letter urging the agency to change its guidance.

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