A new study has confirmed airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which agrees with previous studies showing that indoor air has a higher concentration of virus RNA than outdoor spaces.
A CCMB release said here on Tuesday that the collaborative study was conducted by a group of scientists from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and IMTECH, Chandigarh, along with hospitals in Hyderabad and Mohali.
The exact mechanism of spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive, the release said. Previously thought to spread from surfaces, epidemiologists found that countries wearing masks were less severely affected in the pandemic. However, there was a lack of quantitative evidence showing infectious coronavirus particles in the air, it said. The study confirmed airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, when scientists analyzed the genome content of the coronavirus from air samples collected from various areas occupied by COVID-19 patients, including hospitals, closed rooms, which contain only the coronavirus. The patients spent a short period of time. Over time, and the homes of COVID-19 patients living in the home, it said.
The scientists found that the virus could often be detected in the air around COVID-19 patients and the positivity rate increased with the number of patients present on the premises.
They found the virus in ICU as well as in non-ICU sections of hospitals, suggesting that patients shed the virus through the air, regardless of the severity of the infection. The study also found viable coronaviruses in the air that can infect living cells, and these viruses can spread over long distances, it said.
Scientists still suggest wearing face masks to avoid the spread of coronavirus. “Our results suggest that in the absence of ventilation in closed spaces, the coronavirus can remain in the air for some time. We find that the positivity rate for detecting virus in the air was 75 percent when two or more COVID-19 patients were present in a room, as opposed to 15.8 percent when these studies had one or no COVID-19 patients. -19 patients had not occupied the room. ,’ said Shivranjani Mohrir, the scientist involved in the study. ”Our observations are concurrent with previous studies showing that concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 RNA are higher in indoor air than in outdoor air; And in indoor, it is higher in hospital and health care settings, which host a larger number of COVID-19 patients than community indoor settings,” Mohrir said.
“As we return to conducting individual activities, aerial surveillance is a useful means of predicting the infection potential of places such as classrooms, meeting halls. This may help refine strategies to control the spread of infection,” said Rakesh Mishra, lead scientist of the work and director of the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society.
He further said that the aerial surveillance technology is not limited to coronavirus only, but it can be adapted to monitor other air-borne infections as well. The study was published in the Journal of Aerosol Science.
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