This is an account that should be heard of an important struggle: the struggle of a large group of experts who came together at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to warn the world about the risk of airborne transmission and the consequences of ignoring it. We alerted the World Health Organization about the potential significance of the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the urgent need to control it, but our concerns were dismissed. Here we describe how this happened and the consequences. We hope that by reporting this story we can raise awareness of the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the need to be open to new evidence, and to prevent it from happening again. Acknowledgement of an issue, and the emergence of new evidence related to it, is the first necessary step towards finding effective mitigation solutions.


© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad068

Cite as

Morawska, L., Bahnfleth, W., Bluyssen, P., Boerstra, A., Buonanno, G., Dancer, S., Floto, A., Franchimon, F., Haworth, C., Hogeling, J., Isaxon, C., Jimenez, J., Kurnitski, J., Li, Y., Loomans, M., Marks, G., Marr, L., Mazzarella, L., Melikov, A., Miller, S., Milton, D., Nazaroff, W., Nielsen, P., Noakes, C., Peccia, J., Querol, X., Sekhar, C., Seppänen, O., Tanabe, S., Tellier, R., Wai, T., Wargocki, P. & Wierzbicka, A. 2023, 'COVID-19 and Airborne Transmission: Science Rejected, Lives Lost. Can Society Do Better?', Science of the total environment. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad068

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Last updated: 11 April 2023
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