Bill Hanage+ Your Authors @BillHanage Assoc Prof at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Gooner. Currently cosplaying Dr Rieux in some weird re-enactment of La Peste. Tweets are personal Jul. 05, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

I'm quoted in this @nytimes article from @apoorva_nyc being blunt (again) about the clumsy way we communicate risks of airborne transmission, and the way @WHO has handled it 1/n  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/239-experts-with-1-big-claim-the-coronavirus-is-airborne.html 

Is aerosol transmission possible? Well it's not proven, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However this misses the more important question - does it make a big difference? 2/n

Aerosol/airborne transmission is a bugbear. It shouldn't be. It can be possible on *some* occasions, and yet the majority of transmission can be short range and droplet - which the majority of studies suggest it is 3/n

“There is no incontrovertible proof that SARS-CoV-2 travels or is transmitted significantly by aerosols, but there is absolutely no evidence that it’s not,” @trishgreenhalgh - yep 4/n

“Those that may have been frustrated may not be cognizant of how W.H.O. expert committees work, and they work slowly and deliberately” says @MarylouiseMcla1, absolutely correctly in my experience 5/n

Challenge is @Babak_Javid_Lab just asked - what do you do about it? Well it's actually much of what we know already. Most transmission is close range close contact. A mountain of evidence 6/n

We can limit transmission by limiting contacts (distancing), and the risk of transmission given a contact (masks probably help), and avoid superspreading events by not giving the virus the chance 7/n

I know it looks simple in a thread. It's evidently not. So be prepared to keep at it. Stop the new infections. It saves lives 8/end


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