Airborne Coronavirus Can Spread Indoors Too: Study

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Washington DC: Researchers at University of Georgia recently claimed that airborne transmission of COVID-19 is possible indoors also.

Shen and his co-authors, who have published their recent findings in JAMA Internal Medicine, worked with epidemiologists from two regional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China to trace the spread of COVID-19 infection.

For their study, they closely observed the attendees of a large outdoor worship event in Zhejiang province.

The attendees took two buses to the event. Both the buses had closed windows and air conditioning running. One bus carried a COVID-19 infected person and the other did not, said Changwei Li, study co-author and an associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

Later, it was found that the majority of the passengers, who rode on the same bus in which the patient travelled, fell sick, while the passengers on the other bus were safe.

This suggested that the bus was the major point of coronavirus transmission.

The findings of the study by Shen and Li highlight that COVID-19 could spread through fine aerosol particles, circulated in an enclosed space, especially as the weather turns colder.

“The possibility of airborne transmission has long been suspected, but with limited empirical evidence. Our study provided epidemiologic evidence of transmission over long distances, which was likely airborne,” said Ye Shen, lead author and associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UGA’s College of Public Health.

“Understanding the transmission routes of Covid-19 is critical to contain the pandemic, so that effective prevention strategies can be developed targeting all potential transmission routes. Our findings provide a solid support for wearing face-covering in enclosed environments with poor ventilation,” Shen added.

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