How Is Coronavirus Actually Released?

Coronavirus particles are spread through the air

depiction of the coronavirus particles spreading thru the air

In order to get infected you need to be exposed to an infectious dose of the coronavirus, said Erin S. Bromage, Ph.D.

‘Since indoor spaces have limited air exchange or recycled air and lots of people, these areas are concerning from a transmission standpoint.’

‘Based on infectious studies with MERS and SARS coronaviruses, it is estimated that as few as 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 viral particles are needed for an infection to take hold,’ stated Dr. Bromage on May 6, 2020.

‘We don't have a number for SARS-CoV-2 yet, but we can use influenza as a guide. We know that a person infected with influenza releases about 3 - 20 virus RNA copies per minute of breathing.’

Furthermore, various studies have reviewed these common areas for virus transmission:

A Toilet flush: Without a seat to close, a single flush releases ~8,000 droplets into the air. If the person using the restroom before you were infected, you have a chance of contracting the virus when breathing the air in the bathroom.

A Cough: A single cough releases about 3,000 droplets and droplets travel at 50 miles per hour. Most droplets are large and fall quickly because of gravity, but many do stay in the air and can travel across a room in a few seconds.

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A Sneeze: A single sneeze releases about 30,000 droplets, with droplets traveling at up to 200 miles per hour. Most droplets are small and travel great distances.

A Breath: A single breath releases 50 - 5000 droplets. Most of these droplets are low velocity and fall to the ground quickly. Unlike sneezing and coughing which release huge amounts of viral material, the respiratory droplets released from breathing only contain low levels of virus.

‘While I have focused on respiratory exposure here, please don't forget surfaces. Those infected respiratory droplets land somewhere.’ 

‘So wash your hands often and stop touching your face,’ concluded Dr. Bromage.

Dr. Bromage is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic news published by CoronavirusToday.