- The spread of coronavirus aerosol is a real risk, according to the World Health Organization a few weeks ago after more than 200 researchers urged the WHO to recognize the problem. But the organization maintains that droplet transmission is the main way to spread COVID-19.
- A new study looked at how COVID-19 moved in the closed environment of the quarantine Diamond Princess cruise ship in quarantine in Japan in early February, and found that aerosol transmission may be a worse phenomenon than we thought .
- The research follows other studies that showed that viruses from aerosols can infect cells and showed that taller people are twice as likely to be infected.
The cruise ship Diamond Princess gained worldwide notoriety in early February when Japanese authorities quarantined the ship in Port Yokohama that wanted to contain COVID-19 infection aboard the ship. Eventually, 712 of the 3,711 passengers and crew on board tested positive, and 14 died when the diamond princess docked him. The vessel has been the subject of studies, given that it offered researchers a unique insight into the behavior of the virus within a population that was confined to the vessel for several weeks.
More recent research could show that one of the worst things about the new coronavirus should be a real concern for authorities looking to contain COVID-19 outbreaks. This is the transmission of aerosols, a topic that continues to appear in COVID-19 more and more often. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the risk of COVID-19 spreading through the air a few weeks ago, but still maintained that the largest saliva droplets expelled during the conversation, sneezing and cough are the main form of virus spread. The new Diamond Princess study says it can quantify aerosol transmission within the cruise.
Researchers have recently shown that the virus that can float in aerosols can replicate once it reaches the cells. This was an indication that the virus can survive in the air in those microdroptera that become aerosols after the water evaporates, and float longer than larger drops of saliva that can land on surfaces and people. A different study proposed another unexpected conclusion. People who are 6 feet tall are twice as likely to become infected with the new coronavirus, and airborne transmission is the only type of transmission that can support the finding.
Researchers from Harvard and the Illinois Institute of Technology teamed up for a study that attempted to model COVID-19 transmission models on board the ship and concluded that aerosol transmission played an important role in the Diamond Princess coronavirus epidemic. The study has not been reviewed equally, but has been published online on the Internet medRxiv, via The New York Times.
The researchers performed more than 20,000 simulations that took into account various particularities of the Diamond Princess COVID-19 outbreak, including patterns of social interactions, the amount of time the virus can live on surfaces, the size of particles expelled of a person’s mouth and their behavior in the air.
More than 130 simulations gave results similar to what happened in real life aboard the ship. The researchers studied the most “realistic” scenarios to calculate the importance of the various forms of viral transmission. They concluded that the smaller droplets were primarily responsible for the spread of the virus on the cruise ship, accounting for 60% of new infections both at close range and long distances. Fomite transmission or the fact that the virus touched the same surfaces played a minor role.
“A lot of people have argued that air transmission is happening, but no one had numbers for that,” Dr. Parham Azimi, of Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. “What is the contribution of these small droplets: is it 5 percent or 90 percent? In this work we provide the first real estimates of the amount of this number, at least in the case of this cruise ship” .
So far, researchers have shown that aerosol transmission is a real thing for infectious diseases, including COVID-19, that viral aerosol loads are contagious, and that the spread of aerosols can be the main driver of Princess Diamond bud. More research is needed and studies should receive appropriate feedback from other experts.
A separate investigation showed that facial masks could reduce drops and aerosol transmission, either with surgical masks or multi-layered homemade fabric covers. It is unclear how much virus would be enough to infect a person. But aerosols could help the pathogen reach the lower airways faster than droplets. It is in the lungs where the virus can multiply at a devastating rate and cause various life-threatening complications.
Researchers believe the diamond princess transmission study could help officials form new measures that could be applied to indoor conditions, such as school. The simplest is to “apply mask policies really,” according to Illinois Institute of Technology professor Brent Stephens. Appropriate masks should also be used to reduce aerosol spread.
Changes in ventilation may also be required to improve the safety of interior spaces. The diamond princess did not recycle the air and was well ventilated, but this did not stop the virus from spreading.
Not all scientists agree that the transmission of aerosols may be the main factor in the spread of COVID-19 and The times’ It is worth reading the coverage to get more opinions on this topic. But even if the spread of aerosols is only a minimal risk, health officials should consider measures to reduce this route of transmission.