Transcript for Latest updates on COVID-19: July 10, 2020
Here are some of the major developments we're tracking on this Friday. More than 12.2 million confirmed cases worldwide, at least 3.1 million of those cases right here in the United States. As more than 6.7 million people recover around the globe. With me is ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. And Jen, we know that rates continue to rise in the sun belt. And now we that new evidence suggesting that this virus may spread via the airborne route. A lot of people questioning the role of air conditioning and the spread. Exactly, lot of attention on this, Amy, because people are trying to connect those dots between those factors you just mentioned. Let's break down the science right now. When you talk about what we know at this point, in the south, obviously hotter weather, tends to drive people indoors more, air conditioning interestingly when it's hotter outside it exchanges air with the outside air less frequently so that tends to provide less circulation for indoor air and, of course, that does tend to be drier, less humidity when you're using an air conditioner and that's a great environment for viral survival. What are we hearing from virologists, from infectious disease experts about air conditioning and the rising rates we're seeing. The field of aerosol science which studies the biology, chemistry and physics. They're looking at this. The theories are, with less outside air exchange as we said, there are more viral particles linger being in the air inside. We have seen published reports of the virus being found in air conditioning ducts. But remember that doesn't necessarily mean those are infectious dose levels that can make people sick. Right now, M.I.T. Experts saying they consider the risk from air conditioning to be, quote, very close to zero, but, again, people are looking at this. Okay, so for people who are inside on those hot summer days in their air conditioning, what are the recommendations to lower the risk of exposure? Well, some of these are commonsense tips. You have these aerosol scientists and other infectious disease experts saying, okay, do some things that you can control. When possible, open your avoid the use of indoor fans. Because that can actually spread viral particles. There's research looking at these short-range uv radiation devices that go on the wall or ceiling to kill viruses. We use them in hospitals and restaurants. That's being studied. And then, remember, when you're inside, you still want to try to maintain at least six feet apart from others whenever possible. Lot of people looking at this. All right, Dr. Jen, thank you
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