Coronavirus Aerosolized Through Talking
National experts have concluded that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is aerosolized through talking or exhalation.
However, it's not yet clear if the viral particles are viable and emitted in doses sufficient to cause an infection, which leads to the COVID-19 disease.
"While the current SARS-CoV-2 specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing," wrote Harvey Fineberg, MD, Ph.D., chair of the National Academies Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, in a rapid expert consultation issued April 2, 2020.
Previously, on March 26, 2020, researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha published a study of 'collected air and surface samples from rooms of patients with COVID-19 disease and found viral RNA in the air both inside and outside the rooms and on ventilation grates.'
During the initial isolation of 13 individuals confirmed positive with COVID-19 infection in this study, air and surface samples were collected in eleven isolation rooms to examine viral shedding from isolated individuals.
While all individuals were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2, symptoms and viral shedding to the environment varied considerably.
Many commonly used items, toilet facilities, and air samples had evidence of viral contamination, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 is shed to the environment as expired particles, during toileting, and through contact with fomites.
The disease spread through both direct (droplet and person-to-person), as well as indirect contact (contaminated objects and airborne transmission), are indicated, supporting the use of airborne isolation precautions.
SARS-CoV-2 outbreak news published by Coronavirus Today.