As it turned out, the infection can live long enough in pillows, blankets and sheets.
Coronavirus-infected people who have not yet begun to show symptoms can spread the infection through a number of surfaces in hotel rooms. In particular, transmission of the virus can occur through pillowcases, sheets and blankets.
About this writes Newsweek with reference to a new study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Despite the absence of symptoms, patients began to leave the virus on the surfaces after 24 hours.
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To learn more about the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in people without symptoms, the researchers analyzed smears collected in a hotel room in which two Chinese students were quarantined. They studied abroad, but returned to China on March 19-20. One of them is conditionally called “student A”, and the other – “student B”. At the time of their return to their home country, none of them had a fever or any other symptoms of COVID-19. However, they were still sent to the hotel room for 14-day quarantine.
Each morning, local medical personnel measured their body temperature and checked for symptoms of the disease. On the second day, the students had neither fever nor other symptoms. But despite this, their tests for coronavirus were positive. Therefore, students were sent to a local hospital for treatment. Only two days later, in the hospital room, “Student A” developed a cough and fever. On the sixth day, the same thing happened with “student B”. An x-ray revealed problems with his lungs.
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Scientists collected smears from surfaces in the hotel room the students were in, three hours after their coronavirus tests were positive. Samples were taken from pillowcases, a blanket, sheets and towels, as well as from the surface of doors, a faucet handle in the bathroom, light switches, a thermostat in the room, a TV remote control, door handles in the bathroom, as well as a toilet seat and flush button. Students were the only people who lived in a particular room for a fairly long time. The hotel has been closed since January 24 due to quarantine. Therefore, he had no inhabitants. To control the study, scientists collected similar samples from surfaces in the next room where no one lives.
In each room, scientists collected 11 samples (a total of 22 samples). Analyzes of 8 of them turned out to be positive. 6 were from Student A’s room. The coronavirus was found on sheets, in a duvet cover, pillowcases, and also on towels. On the mixer from the bathroom, “Student B” also found SARS-CoV-2, as well as on pillowcases. As expected, all control room samples without residents were negative. In pillowcases and duvet covers, the number of virus particles was very high.
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“In our study, we showed the powerful spread of the virus by patients without symptoms, which is consistent with the results of other studies. But we found more evidence of how asymptomatic transmission of the virus occurs. In addition, it became apparent that patients without symptoms, but with high viral load, can it’s easy to infect the environment in a very short time, ”the findings say.
Prolonged contact with objects seems to result in a high level of infection. After all, the coronavirus was found on pillows and sheets, but not on doorknobs or light switches.
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