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China’s health authorities acknowledges possibility of aerosol transmission

China’s health authorities acknowledges possibility of aerosol transmission

Posted February. 20, 2020 08:16,   

Updated February. 20, 2020 08:16


The highest health authorities in China have officially acknowledged the possibility of COVID-19 spreading through aerosol for the first time.

The National Health Commission of China newly added exposure to high concentrations of droplets in the air mixed with the virus in a closed environment for a long time as one of the possible routes of new coronavirus transmission in new guidelines for diagnosing and treating patients announced on Wednesday.

At the guidelines announced on February 4, the National Health Commission had said that the routes of aerosol transmission were not clear. Later, however, some experts and local governments suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission. Also in Feb. 8, the Shanghai government announced that transmission routes of the coronavirus included direct transmission, contact transmission and aerosol transmission. But controversies arose when the Chinese health agency refuted the theory saying that there is no evidence of aerosol transmission.

While droplets are comparatively heavy and cannot travel further than a radius of two meters most of the time, aerosol is lighter and spreads further. A cluster of infections may occur through aerosol left in closed spaces.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com