COVID-19 transmission – up in the air
Sheila Pantry OBE
Worldwide as we approach the end of 2020, and a year since the outbreak of COVID-19 began, cases are increasing again. We have learnt a lot about SARS-CoV-2 and our ability to test for and manage COVID-19 has improved, but ongoing debate remains about how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted.
Respiratory viruses are transmitted in three main ways.
First, contact transmission, where someone comes into direct contact with an infected person or touches a surface that has been contaminated.
Second, through droplet transmission of both large and small respiratory droplets that contain the virus, which would occur when near an infected person.
Third, through airborne transmission of smaller droplets and particles that are suspended in the air over longer distances and time than droplet transmission.
This new editorial article in The Lancet, 29 October 2020, offers an up-to-date overview.
COVID-19 transmission—up in the air
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
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