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Video: China Found Strong Evidence Of SARS-CoV-2 Spread By Air
China found strong evidence of SARS-CoV-2 spread by air
Until now, aerosol transmission of the virus has been poorly understood. According to the researchers, careful disinfection, good ventilation and avoiding large crowds actually reduce the risk of infection.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
A study by a group of scientists from China and Hong Kong, proving the presence of coronavirus RNA in the air, was published today in the journal Nature. Until now, the aerosol mode of transmission of the virus has been poorly understood, therefore, since the beginning of the pandemic, epidemiologists have focused on close contact between people and contact with contaminated surfaces.
To assess the potential for aerosol contamination, researchers conducted environmental monitoring during February and March using "aerosol traps" set up in two hospitals and several public places in Wuhan. According to the monitoring results, it turned out that the concentration of coronavirus RNA in ventilated wards was low, while in toilets without ventilation, it was significantly higher. The maximum concentration of RNA was recorded in the premises where the doctors removed their protective equipment. This likely means that the viral aerosol can be re-formed when protective suits and masks are removed. However, after increasing disinfection measures in hospitals, traces of the RNA virus in the air disappeared.
In residential buildings and supermarkets, the viral concentration was much lower. However, in overcrowded areas near hospitals, scientists have found an increased concentration of coronavirus RNA. The study authors suggest that infected residents of these areas may have contributed to the emergence of viral aerosols.
Despite the fact that the study sample is small - less than 40 samples from 31 hot spots of the coronavirus - the findings confirm that careful disinfection, good ventilation and minimizing crowds significantly reduce the risk of infection. In other words, the study justifies the need for stringent quarantine measures that have been introduced in many countries.