The Impact of the WHO’s Revised Definition of Airborne Transmission on COVID-19 Outcomes

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially rebranded airborne viral transmission as “through the air” transmission, marking a major shift in its guidance.

Previously, the WHO had denied that COVID-19 was airborne and focused on droplet transmission. However, scientists have long argued that smaller aerosolized particles can spread the virus, leading to the creation of the false dichotomy between droplet and airborne transmission.

The WHO’s new guidance acknowledges that respiratory particles can be contained in both large droplets and smaller aerosols, requiring a rethinking of infection control practices.

However, the WHO’s document falls short in recommending proper airborne infection control measures, instead leaving it up to individual discretion based on factors such as disease severity, population immunity, and financial implications. This has raised concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19 in medical settings and the lack of proper infection control measures.

The WHO’s failure to acknowledge its past mistakes and provide clear guidance based on scientific evidence has had devastating consequences, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. It is crucial for the WHO to rectify its guidance and prioritize effective airborne infection control to protect patients and citizens.

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By Kate Stephenson
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