The World Health Organization is acknowledging the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions — after more than 200 scientists urged the agency to do so.In an open letter published this week in a journal, two scientists from Australia and the U.S. wrote that studies have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”The researchers, along with more than 200 others, appealed for national and international authorities, including WHO, to adopt more stringent protective measures.
WHO has long dismissed the possibility that the coronavirus is spread in the air except for certain risky medical procedures, such as when patients are first put on breathing machines.In a change to its previous thinking, WHO noted on Thursday that studies evaluating COVID-19 outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices and fitness classes suggested the virus might have been spread in the air.
Improvement of Medical Care for COVID-19 Leads to Lower Death Rates
When Dr. Carl June first heard about symptoms in seriously ill COVID-19 patients, his thoughts jumped to Emily Whitehead. Emily, 7, had endured the same kind of immune system overreaction when June treated her in 2012 with an experimental therapy against her leukemia. Her immune system went into life-threatening overdrive, just like many of those with COVID-19.
In a last-ditch effort to save Emily’s life, he had given her a drug, tocilizumab, that kept his own daughter’s rheumatoid arthritis under control. To everyone’s surprise, the drug worked. Emily is now a normal teenager.Tocilizumab is one of hundreds of therapies being tested against COVID-19.