A group of experts and scientists argue in a new letter that the World Health Organization needs to share more information that the novel coronavirus is an airborne virus, even if the notion sounds scary.

What’s happening:

  • Experts and scientists intend to publish a letter to WHO that support their view that airborne spread of COVID-19 is legitimate.
  • The letter comes from 239 scientists from 32 different countries, according to The New York Times.
  • The letter calls on WHO “to give more weight to the role of the airborne spread of COVID-19,” according to CNBC.
  • CNBC said: “It appears to contradict previous evidence that the virus is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the nose or mouth. These are expelled when a person with the infection coughs, sneezes or speaks.”
  • Currently, WHO’s guidance suggests the coronavirus moves between people through droplets and contact. This is why people socially distance, wear masks and avoid large groups. But the scientists in the letter suggest smaller droplets — like from breathing — can transmit the virus.

What has the WHO said?

  • According to The Guardian, members of the WHO have said “there is overwhelming evidence that the primary routes of transmission are through direct contact and respiratory droplets expelled during coughing, sneezing or speech.”
  • The WHO said introducing new measures to fight aerosol transmission “ aerosol transmission was unfeasible and unlikely to make much difference to the spread of infection,” The Guardian reports.