- The spread of aerosol coronaviruses is a real risk, the World Health Organization said a few weeks ago after more than 200 researchers called on the WHO to acknowledge the problem. But the organization maintains that drip transmission is the main mode of distribution of COVID-19.
- A new study looked at how COVID-19 was moving in the closed environment of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Japan in early February, finding that aerosol transmission could be a worse phenomenon than we thought.
- The study follows other studies that show that the aerosol virus can infect cells, and this shows that taller people are twice as likely to be infected.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship gained worldwide fame in early February when Japanese authorities quarantined the boat in Port Yokohama in an attempt to control the COVID-1
The latest research may prove that one of the worst things about the new coronavirus must be a real concern for authorities who want to control outbreaks of COVID-19. This is aerosol transmission, 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 maintains that larger drops of saliva that are expelled during speech, sneezing and coughing are the main means of spreading virus. A new study by Diamond Princess says it can quantify aerosol transmission inside a cruise ship.
Researchers have recently shown that a virus that can float in aerosols can replicate once it reaches cells. This was an indication that the virus could survive in the air in those microdroplets that turn into aerosols after the water evaporates and floats longer than larger droplets of saliva that can land on surfaces and people. Another study offered another unexpected conclusion. People who are 6 feet tall are twice as likely to become infected with the new coronavirus, and airborne spread is the only type of transmission that can support detection.
Researchers at Harvard and the Illinois Institute of Technology have teamed up to study COVID-19 transmission models on board the ship and conclude that aerosol transmission plays an important role in the Diamond Princess coronavirus epidemic. The study was not verified, but was published online in medRxiv, through New York Times,,
The researchers conducted more than 20,000 simulations that took into account the various features of the Diamond Princess COVID-19 epidemic, including patterns of social interactions, the time the virus can live on surfaces, the size of particles ejected from human mouths, and their behavior. in the air.
Over 130 simulations gave results similar to what happened in real life on board the ship. The researchers looked at the most “realistic” scenarios to calculate the significance of the different ways the virus was transmitted. They concluded that the smaller droplets were mainly responsible for the spread of the cruise ship virus, accounting for 60% of new infections both at close range and at greater distances. The transmission of fomit or the virus from contact with the same surfaces played a minor role.
“A lot of people claim that airborne transmission happens, but no one had a number for it,” said Dr. Parkham Azimi of Harvard School of Public Health TH Chan. “What is the contribution of these small droplets – 5 percent or 90 percent?” In this document, we provide the first real estimates of what that number might be, at least in the case of this cruise ship. “
So far, researchers have proven that aerosol transmission is a real thing for an infectious disease, including COVID-19, that aerosol viral loads are contagious, and that the spread of the aerosol may be the main driver of the Diamond Princess epidemic. More research is needed and studies should receive appropriate feedback from other experts.
Separate studies have shown that face masks can reduce droplets and aerosol transmission, whether they are surgical masks or multi-layered homemade cloth covers. It is not clear how much virus would be enough to infect a person. But aerosols can help the pathogen reach the lower respiratory tract faster than droplets. It is found in the lungs, where the virus can multiply at a disastrous rate and cause several life-threatening complications.
Researchers believe that the study to transfer Diamond Princess could help employees design new measures that could be implemented indoors, such as a school. The simplest is “really imposing masking policies,” according to a Chicago professor from Britain’s Stevens in Illinois. Appropriate masks should also be used to reduce aerosol spread.
Ventilation changes may also be necessary to improve indoor safety. The diamond princess did not recirculate the air and was well ventilated, but that did not stop the virus from spreading.
Not all scientists agree that aerosol transmission may be the main driver of the spread of COVID-19 and The times’ the cover is worth reading for more opinions on the subject. But even if aerosol spread is only a minimal risk, healthcare professionals should consider measures to reduce this route of transmission.