WHO says reviewing NYT article on concerns over airborne spread of COVID-19

first_imgThe World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report that suggested its advice on the novel coronavirus needs updating, after some scientists told the New York Times there was evidence the virus could be spread by tiny particles in the air.The WHO says the COVID-19 disease spreads primarily through small droplets, which are expelled from the nose and mouth when an infected person breaths them out in coughs, sneezes, speech or laughter and quickly sink to the ground.In an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence they say shows that smaller exhaled particles can infect people who inhale them, the newspaper said on Saturday. “Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying in the New York Times.WHO guidance to health workers, dated June 29, says that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and on surfaces.But airborne transmission via smaller particles is possible in some circumstances, such as when performing intubation and aerosol generating procedures, it says.Medical workers performing such procedures should wear heavy duty N95 respiratory masks and other protective equipment in an adequately ventilated room, the WHO says.Officials at South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control said on Monday they were continuing to discuss various issues about COVID-19, including the possible airborne transmission. They said more investigations and evidence were needed. Because those smaller particles can linger in the air longer, the scientists – who plan to publish their findings in a scientific journal this week – are urging WHO to update its guidance, the Times said.”We are aware of the article and are reviewing its contents with our technical experts,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in an email reply on Monday to a Reuters request for comment.The extent to which the coronavirus can be spread by the so-called airborne or aerosol route – as opposed to by larger droplets in coughs and sneezes – remains disputed.Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-metre physical distancing. Governments, which also rely on the agency for guidance policy, may also have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.center_img Topics :last_img read more

In York County, First Lady Frances Wolf Discusses Efforts to Battle Opioid Epidemic

first_img First Lady Frances Wolf,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Hanover, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf and Secretary Ted Dallas today visited Family First Health, a center of excellence, to discuss the Wolf administration’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic. The 2016-2017 budget included $20.4 million for Centers of Excellence which serve as central, efficient hubs around which treatment revolves. These centers will have navigators to assist people with opioid-related substance use disorders through the medical system, and ensure they receive behavioral and physical health care, as well as any evidence-based medication-assisted treatment needed.“People from every community in Pennsylvania are suffering from the effects of the opioid epidemic,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “It is absolutely critical that we continue to battle the stigma surrounding substance use disorder and encourage anyone suffering from this disease to seek help. I am thrilled at the work that Family First Health and all of the Centers of Excellence are doing to curb this public health crisis.”“After seeing firsthand the work that Family First Health provides, I am thrilled with the work being done to strengthen the community,” said Secretary Dallas. “As we know, the opioid epidemic does not discriminate and affects every Pennsylvanian in some way. We are excited to have them as a location for the COE program, providing quality services to individuals in need.”In late September, Governor Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly to outline a set of shared, specific legislative goals that would help tackle the opioid and heroin crisis. Together with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate, Governor Wolf made a commitment to prioritize helping the victims of substance use disorder and the communities that have been devastated by this terrible disease.During the fall session, we made real progress in helping the victims of substance use disorder and the communities that have been devastated by this terrible disease. The governor and legislators made significant achievements toward fighting this epidemic by passing five major bills that will strengthen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, restrict the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors or in emergency rooms, establish education curriculum on safe prescribing, and create more locations for the drop-off of drugs among other important initiatives.If you or someone you know is suffering from substance use disorder, help is available. Please visit pa.gov/opioids or call 1-800-662-HELP.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf November 21, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img In York County, First Lady Frances Wolf Discusses Efforts to Battle Opioid Epidemiclast_img read more