Transcript for Latest updates on COVID-19: June 15, 2020
Some of the major developments we're dragging right now. Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to climb worldwide. Now more than 7.9 million, more than 2 million of those cases right here at home, with more than 115,000 American lives lost. With us now is ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. Dr. Jen, as we're starting to see some of those cases rise for the past several weeks of protests, questions continue about just how this coronavirus spreads and how different environments may affect that transmission. We've discussed about whether summer weather will help slow the infection, that's not necessarily what we've seen and I know that you have some new data to talk about. Yeah, and this is really important, Amy, because remember, we're only six months into this and how this virus is actually spread or transmitted is critical for controlling it and learning how to live with it. There's new data that I wanted to share with you. It's about whether or not this virus can be spread via aerosol or airborne, those are scary terms, but there are a lot of people looking at this right now. Recently data just published in "The journal of infectious diseases" found that simulated sunlight, 90% of the virus is inactivated in less than 20 minutes. They also found that humidity plays a role but not without sunlight, which was interesting. Again, ongoing data and research in exactly how the environment affects this virus really, really important, so that we can learn how to control it. And with what you just said, it seems as though a summer environment would help slow the spread of the virus, but that's not what we're seeing in some of these hot states. Exactly, and so we're seeing this play out in real time. But a lot of other theories and elements and factors that are going into this. Number one, we need to figure out how much virus is actually in these particles as they spread. That's really important. The airflow dynamics in between someone's infected and uninfected and whether people are wearing masks that will also play a role in understanding what we call the transmission dynamics. What do we still need to learn here? A lot. In terms of aerosol science, there's a brilliant aerosol scientist at Virginia tech, who's working on this, but we need to know whether this is combination of spread by contact, by respiratory droplets and/or airborne transmission, we need to know how the ambieant temperature afcs the survival. We definitely need to know how effective masks are at reducing both the spread and your risk of getting infected and how different masks may affect that, and we need to know how this virus behaves indoors as well as outdoors. So a lot still being studied. All right, Dr. Jen, we appreciate it.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.