Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. When inside, it might be a good idea to take a few more steps back. Experts on Tuesday said they believe the six-feet of distance recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) may not be enough to limit the transmission of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization on Thursday released new guidelines on the transmission of the novel coronavirus that acknowledge some reports of airborne transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, but stopped short of confirming that the virus spreads through the air. In its latest transmission guidance, the WHO acknowledged that some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, such as during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes. But the WHO said more research is "urgently needed to investigate such instances and assess their significance for transmission of COVID-19." The report follows an open letter from scientists who specialize in the spread of disease in the air -- so-called aerobiologists -- that urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease spreads to include aerosol transmission. Based on its review of the evidence, the WHO said the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces or close contact with infected people who spread the virus through saliva, respiratory secretions or droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. The new guidelines do, however, suggest people should avoid crowds and ensure good ventilation in buildings, in addition to social distancing, and encourage masks when physical distancing is not possible.
HONG KONG – At Hong Kong's deserted airport, cleaning crews constantly spray baggage trolleys, elevator buttons and check-in counters with antimicrobial solutions. In New York City, workers continually disinfect surfaces on buses and subways. In London, many pubs spent lots of money on intensive surface cleaning to reopen after lockdown -- before closing again in November. All over the world, workers are soaping, wiping and fumigating surfaces with an urgent sense of purpose: to fight the coronavirus. But scientists increasingly say that there is little to no evidence that contaminated surfaces can spread the virus.
The news: A group of 239 scientists from 32 countries have written an open letter to the World Health Organization arguing that covid-19 can be transmitted through the air. You might think we know that already, but most current guidance is based on the idea that covid-19 is transmitted via droplets expelled from an infected person's nose or mouth. The thought is that these larger respiratory droplets quickly fall to the floor. That's the position the WHO has taken from early on in the pandemic, and that's why we have been keeping at a distance from one other. However, the signatories of the open letter say the organization is underestimating the role of airborne transmission, where much smaller droplets (called aerosols) stay suspended in the air.
Watching someone blow out birthday candles during the coronavirus pandemic could lead to concerns that aerosols are spewing into the air. But you may have concerns over the tradition that comes shortly before the candles are extinguished, as singing "Happy Birthday" may also have us thinking about possible transmission of COVID-19, thanks to a Swedish study. "Singing generated more respiratory aerosol particles and droplets than talking," researchers out of Lund University's Aerosol Laboratory stated in their published study in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology. PROTECTING AGAINST CORONAVIRUS: IS A FACE MASK OR FACE SHIELD BETTER? The researchers also found that consonants are culprits in carrying aerosols while carrying a tune, according to the study, and many of the consonant letters they identified were discovered in the song "Happy Birthday."