A recent study confirmed that breathing and talking from people with COVID-19 were sufficient to infect healthy people with the disease.
This danger is still underestimated in most cases, the researchers warn.
The results of the study were published in the English-language journal “Risk Analysis”.
Breathing and speaking are transmission paths for SARS-CoV-2.
The released aerosols are able to infect other people.
So far, it has been the known major transmission methods that have been of particular concern, such as coughing, sneezing, and transmission through infected surfaces.
This is the result of a current study.
The role of aerosols in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 deserves more attention.
Current guidelines and information from the public health system are slowly beginning to take aerosols more seriously as a means of transmission, mainly in connection with breathing and speaking of asymptomatic persons.
According to the researchers, the provision of guidelines for adequate inhalation protection will be important in order to further limit the spread of COVID-19.
So far, the main methods of transmission have been of concern, such as transmission to close distances (coughing and sneezing) and contact with infected surfaces.
According to the researchers, more attention should be paid to inhalation of aerosols.
Aerosols are small particles that remain in the air and can thus be transported over short and long distances.
Reports of asymptomatic people who infect other people with COVID-19 indicate that activities such as normal breathing and speaking create tiny droplets that are carried through the air and thus infect other people.
What role do aerosols play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2?
Because the aerosol particles generated when speaking and breathing are so small, they remain in the air for a relatively long time before they are pulled to the ground by gravity.
This enables them to be transported over longer distances.
A study carried out in 2006 on SARS-CoV-1, for example, found on this topic that particles with a diameter of one to three μm can float in the air almost indefinitely.
Particles with a size of 10 μm took 17 minutes and particles with a size of 20 μm took four minutes to fall to the ground, the research group reports.
A recent laboratory study also found that the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours (it remained viable throughout the three-hour period of the study) and persists on surfaces for up to several days.
The concentration, survival, and transport distances for SARS-CoV-2 in aerosol form should be examined at different temperatures and humidity levels to collect more important data on possible routes of infection.
Further investigation of the airborne concentrations and the role of the dose in various parts of the airways for the progression and severity of the disease are absolutely necessary, the researchers report.
In addition, the potential for aerosol contamination of buildings, rooms and surfaces should be investigated in order to create a basis for decontamination protocols.
Spread of COVID-19 through breathing and talking
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.
He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.
An investigation and recording of data to determine the role human activities play in the potential generation of aerosols that SARS-CoV-2 can transmit in both closed and open spaces is also appropriate, according to the research group.
The researchers report that new studies should also deal with suitable measures to contain inhalation exposure to small aerosols (<5 μm) in buildings, rooms and surfaces.