Scientists say coronavirus could spread through talking and breathing
New Delhi, Apr 04: Scientists are now saying that coronavirus could spread through just breathing and talking. This suggests that the disease is airborne and is spreading more easily between people that it was previously believed.
The scientists have said that the virus can stay suspended in the air in the ultra fine mist that is produced when people exhale.
While the current specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolisation of virus from normal breathing, a letter by Dr. Harvey Finberg, who is the chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's standing committee of experts to inform the US federal government on critical science and policy issues related to emerging infectious diseases and other public health threats said.
Airborne viruses are in particular a worry for India where there have been cluster outbreaks in areas such as Dharavi in Mumbai.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the virus stays suspended and ineffective in aerosol droplets that are below 5 microns across for up to 3 hours. The World Health Organisation had last week said that aerosol transmission may be possible in specific circumstances and settings that generate aerosols, such as when severely ill patients are intubated with a breathing tube for ventilator support. However it also revealed that an analysis of over 75,000 coronavirus cases in China revealed no cases of airborne transmission.