A Chinese official has announced that the coronavirus is airborne; The virus can be received if inhaled even if an infected person is not in the area; Over 26 countries have been infected so far.

A Chinese official has now confirmed that the coronavirus that originated in the city of Wuhan, China, is indeed airborne. This means that the disease can be inhaled via ‘aerosol transmission’ even if no one present is infected.

The official, Zeng Qun, described it as “Aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols which cause infection after inhalation.” After describing the disease, he issued a warning, stating, “As such we have called on the public to raise their awareness of the prevention and control of the disease.”

With the coronavirus now confirmed as airborne, it can be transmitted via several methods. It can happen when an individual breathes in the air next to someone who is infected. It can also be received through physical contact (i.e. touching a contaminated surface). Additionally, it can be contracted by inhaling air that is carrying the disease.

While It’s reported that less than 1,000 people have died so far, suspicion is increasing that the actual death count is being severely underreported.