Coronavirus identified in air pollution particles — but that doesn’t mean it spreads that way

Source: Yahoo

Now that the coronavirus has infected more than 3 million people worldwide, the question of how SARS-CoV-2 spreads has become increasingly relevant. Experts remain confident, as of now, that the virus is passed from individuals through respiratory droplets. But a new study out of Italy — first covered by the Guardian — suggests more research on whether it can be spread through the air.

Published on the health science site Medrxiv, the study analyzed air pollution particles in Bergamo, Italy, from late February to early March. Scientists there found the presence of a specific COVID-19 gene in the air pollution particles, concluding that it’s the “first preliminary evidence” that “SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be present on outdoor particulate matter.”

Researchers note that “no assumptions can be made” about the presence of the virus in air pollution particles and the fact that northern Italy experienced a high volume of coronavirus cases. Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, stresses that the findings should not be cause for alarm.

“If you look in air samples and air pollution particles, there have been many studies that have shown different microorganisms traveling along with them,” Adalja tells Yahoo Life, noting that other coronaviruses such as SARS (or severe acute respiratory syndrome) have been found in air particles as well. “There are lots of examples where you can find this type of dispersal pattern of microorganisms. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into an infection risk.”

Dr. William Schaffner, an epidemiologist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, agrees. “[The authors] don’t know that the virus is living. So this may be only viral fragments, you know,” Schaffner tells Yahoo Life. “Let’s just say it is living, just for the sake of discussion, because that’s the kind of the worst-case scenario. Even then, is there an infectious dose?”

Schaffner says the mere presence of living SARS-CoV-2 particles (the virus that causes COVID-19) in the air wouldn’t necessarily be enough to cause someone to get infected. “You have to get a certain amount of virus in your body before it can establish an infection,” Schaffner says. “And even if it were living, it’s not clear to me that this would be an infectious dose of the virus.”

Adalja bolsters this by noting that if the virus were spread through contaminated particles, the current number of infections would likely be drastically different. “You would have a lot wider-spread infections; you would have a lot more people who are inexplicably infected,” he says. “It would really be a different dispersal pattern. The cases wouldn’t be connected to each other because they wouldn’t be caused through contact.”

So while Adalja finds the study interesting, he’s not at all concerned about its implications. “This is an interesting finding and not surprising, but is it a major way that this virus is using to infect people?” he asks. “The answer is no.”

As of now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the best way to prevent the coronavirus from spreading is to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, as well as wearing a mask around others and following social distancing guidelines.

Read further

The best of the Muslim Times’ collection for war against Covid 19:

In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.

For the latest news about drugs and vaccines’ trials please go to: Pharmaceutical-Technology

Kaiser Permanente launches first coronavirus vaccine trial

Corona Fear’s Cure: Chanting from the Bible and the Quran

Can You Chant from the Bible or the Quran to Bliss and Happiness?

Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China

Synthetic antibodies might offer a quick coronavirus treatment

The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal

The Muslim Times Recommending Universal BCG Vaccination to Fight the Pandemic

Coronavirus: TB Vaccination Trial Started in Melbourne, Australia

The Muslim Times has the best collections in the war against Covid 19 as we are collecting from all the established sources

All of humanity are intimate neighbors: Coronavirus proves it once again

Praise be to God for the Miracle of Our Immune System

USA: 15-minute coronavirus test is here

Does the Ordinary Soap Kill Coronavirus?

Here’s a list of disinfectants you can use against coronavirus

For the number of cases and epidemiology in each country go to: WorldOMeters

Categories: Health, The Muslim Times

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.