Is coronavirus airborne ?
The jury is out. Thus far, it did not appear to be an airborne virus in the same vein as measles or chickenpox, said Luis Ostrosky, a professor and vice chairman of internal medicine at McGovern Medical School in Houston, Texas. “It’s a virus that travels in droplets. This is very good news. With an airborne virus, one person could infect the whole room.”
Now for the bad news: Airborne transmission is “plausible,” according to a study (that has not been peer reviewed) posted online this week from scientists at Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles and the National Institutes of Health. The researchers concluded that the virus could remain airborne for “up to 3 hours post aerosolization.”
In the meantime, officials recommend “social distancing” in public spaces. “You would need to touch contaminated secretions to become infected, or to be within six feet of a sick person who is coughing or sneezing,” Ostrosky said. “Studies have looked at how far spit and little droplets fly, and that’s the magic number.” Meeting in outdoor spaces, in theory, could give the virus less of a chance to spread.
By Pathum wickramarathne