BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In an open letter to the World Health Organization, 239 scientists banded together to ask them to spread the word that there is evidence COVID-19 could be airborne.
Those scientists are saying that they believe when COVID-19 is expelled into the air, it doesn't just evaporate, and instead, it floats there.
When a person coughs or sneezes the virus into the air, these scientists believe the virus sticks around in the air for a while and could infect others that breathe that same air afterward, which is why they want the big health organizations to warn people.
“That would be a gamechanger in a very negative way,” said Dr. Don Williamson, former state health officer and current president of the Alabama Hospital Association.
Airborne viruses are not super common, and if scientists conclude it is indeed airborne…
“We move into the realm of things like measles where a virus persists in the air and gets spread room to room by air conditioning units,” said Williamson.
It's something local experts have been watching closely.
“It’s information that we have been concerned about with COVID 19 from the beginning,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.
The open letter says concern the virus may be airborne is another reason for avoiding crowds.