Coronavirus Particles Found In Air Can Infect Humans Finds Study

The release said that the exact mechanism of the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has remained indefinable.

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According to a new study, it has been confirmed that the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2, like the previous studies that suggest that the concentration of the virus RNA is higher in indoor air as compared to outdoor places. A CCMB release said in Hyderabad on Tuesday that a similar study was conducted by a group of scientists from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and IMTech, Chandigarh, with hospitals in Hyderabad and Mohali.

It was earlier thought that the virus is spread by the surfaces epidemiologists also found that the countries that wore masks during the pandemic were affected less as compared to the countries that did not. The release said that the exact mechanism of the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has remained indefinable. However, there is a number of proofs that show the infectious coronavirus particles in the air were lacking, it said.

The researchers confirmed the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 after analysing the coronavirus’ genome content in air samples collected from different areas occupied by COVID-19 patients, including hospitals, and closed rooms where only coronavirus patients spent a short period of time, and homes of home-quarantined COVID-19 patients, according to the study.

The virus was frequently detected in the air around COVID-19 patients, and the positivity rate increased with the number of patients present in the premise, according to the researchers.

They discovered the virus in both ICU and non-ICU sections of hospitals, implying that patients, regardless of severity of infection, shed the virus in the air. he researchers also discovered viable coronaviruses in the air that could infect living cells and spread throughout the environment.

“Our results show that coronavirus can stay in the air for some time in absence of ventilation in closed spaces. We find that the positivity rate of finding the virus in air was 75 per cent when two or more COVID-19 patients were present in a room, in contrast to 15.8 per cent when one or no COVID-19 patients occupied the room in these studies,” said Shivranjani Moharir, scientist involved in the study.

“Our observations are concurrent with previous studies that suggest that the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is higher in indoor air as compared to outdoor air; and in indoor, it is higher in hospital and healthcare settings that host a larger number of COVID-19 patients, as compared to that in community indoor settings,” Moharir said.

“As we are back to conducting in-person activities, air surveillance is a useful means to predict infection potential of a spaces like classrooms, meeting halls. This can help refine strategies to control the spread of infections,” said Rakesh Mishra, the lead scientist of the work, and Director, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society.

He further said that the air surveillance technique is not just limited to coronavirus but can also be optimised to monitor other air-borne infections. The study was published in the Journal of Aerosol Science.

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