How historical precedents impeded recognition of airborne COVID-19 transmission

A comprehensive historical assessment of knowledge and beliefs about disease transmission sheds light on why influential institutions worldwide took too long to recognize that COVID-19 is primarily airborne. The authors trace this deadly resistance one hundred years back in history, to the rejection of sickly air called ‘miasma,’ the rise of germ theory and our own stubborn tendency to retain beliefs in spite of accumulating evidence to the contrary.

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