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New studies support evidence of COVID-19 aerial propagation in confined spaces

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A new study at the University of Georgia confirms increasing evidence of COVID-19 aerial transmission in confined spaces.

Researchers have been able to correlate outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Chinese community with patients from sources of infection who may have spread the virus to fellow bus riders via the air conditioning system of the bus.

The potential for aerial transmission has long been suspected, but empirical evidence is limited. Our study provided epidemiological evidence of long-range transmission, which was probably levitation. “

Ye Shen, Principal Writer, Associate Professor, Faculty of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UGA

Recently published studies JAMA Internal Medicine, Questions the general idea of ​​how COVID-19 spreads.

“It was widely believed that close contact through droplets was the primary route of transmission of COVID-19, but widely adopted social distances and hand washing effectively prevent global infections. We couldn’t. Instead, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased. Steadily, “Shen said.

Shen and his co-authors worked with epidemiologists at two regional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China to track infections after a major outdoor worship event in Zhejiang. Some of the participants participated in the event on two buses and conducted a unique natural experiment on the researchers.

Changwei Li, an associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University and co-author of the study, said both buses had windows closed and air conditioners working, while one bus carried a virus-infected patient. , The other did not carry.

Of the passengers who later became ill, the majority boarded the same bus as the original patient. Although the two groups later mixed with a larger crowd at the worship event, the number of new cases resulting from the event was much smaller, suggesting that the bass was the primary transmission point.

In addition, it was found that some of the bus passengers who later showed symptoms of COVID-19 were not sitting near the infected passengers.

These findings highlight a scenario in which COVID-19 can diffuse through fine aerosol particles that circulate in an enclosed space, and as the weather gets colder, Shen and Lee work on this in public areas. Spaces that want to convince many people to wear face masks, especially indoors.

“Understanding the COVID-19 transmission route is important to contain the pandemic, so we can develop effective preventive strategies for all potential transmission routes,” Shen said. Says. “Our findings firmly support covering the face in a closed, poorly ventilated environment.”

Source:

Journal reference:

Shen, Y. , et al.. (2020) Regional outbreak survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Bus Rider in eastern China. JAMA Internal Medicine.. doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.5225..

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