Wednesday, August 12, 2020

‘A smoking gun’: Scientists have confirmation of infectious coronavirus retrieved from hospital air


By Apoorva Mandavilli

Skeptics of the notion that the coronavirus spreads through the air — including many expert advisers to the World Health Organization — have held out for one missing piece of evidence: proof that floating respiratory droplets called aerosols contain live virus and not just fragments of genetic material.

Now a team of virologists and aerosol scientists has produced exactly that: confirmation of infectious virus in the air.

“This is what people have been clamoring for,” said Linsey Marr, an expert in airborne spread of viruses who was not involved in the work. “It’s unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols.”

A research team at the University of Florida succeeded in isolating live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — farther than the 6 feet recommended in social distancing guidelines.  Read more >>