As the SARS-CoV-2 virus drives a worldwide pandemic, our scientific understanding of how it is transmitted is constantly evolving. There is an ongoing debate on various aspects of this process, particularly aerosol transmission. In part, this debate reflects a lack of consensus on the definitions of the terms used to describe the transmission of infectious agents via the respiratory tract.
This text presents a review of the scientific literature focused on the aerosol mode of transmission, but also includes information about other modes of transmission. Authored by a multidisciplinary team, the report seeks to inform the decision-making process of public health authorities, teams of experts, ministerial policymakers, and health and social services facility managers.
Until now, infection prevention and control recommendations have been based on a dichotomous approach, i.e., infection transmission via droplets vs. airborne routes. Yet, the growing body of knowledge on the dynamic aspects of aerosols is paving the way for an approach that suggests transmission is dependent on a continuum of particles ranging in size from drops to aerosols.