WHO Acknowledges That Aerosols Spread COVID-19 On Website

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A tiny change to the website of the World Health Organization this month didn't make many headlines, but one expert says it was a milestone in the scientific understanding of COVID-19.

The WHO updated its guidance on how the coronavirus is spread to emphasize the importance of tiny respiratory particles called aerosols over the heavier respiratory droplets they had previously paid more attention to. The shift acknowledges the science showing things like cleaning surfaces or even social distancing aren't very effective at controlling the virus — compared to moving events outside or improving indoor ventilation.

Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor at the University of North Carolina and columnist for The Atlantic and The New York Times. She publishes the newsletter Insight.

This segment aired on May 11, 2021.


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