Thursday, September 3, 2020

You’ll never guess how this one person spread coronavirus to 23 others

A man riding public transportation while wearing a black face mask to protect against the novel coronavirus. Image source: stnazkul/Adobe

By Chris Smith

The novel coronavirus spreads through the air with ease, with an increasing number of studies proving that COVID-19 airborne transmission should be a huge concern to health officials and the general public. The World Health Organization (WHO) reluctantly conceded that the virus can spread through the air when more than 200 scientists urged the group to do so. But the organization maintains that droplet transmission is mainly responsible for the spread of the virus, while aerosol transmission can only happen in certain conditions. That happened a few months ago. Since then, more studies have shown that airborne transmission provides the most plausible explanation in many cases.

Just the other day, a couple of new studies from China and Europe explained that exhaled air can contain millions of virus particles and that air conditioning systems that only recirculate air can increase the risk of infection. A different paper now demonstrates the likelihood of coronavirus transmission through the air, showing how a single infected individual spread COVID-19 to 23 other people who rode the same bus back in January.  Read more >>