Is the virus transmitted by blood?

A blood bag in a Russian transfusion center (illustration). – Vladimir Gerdo / Tass

The rush for masks, goggles and protective gloves as well as for the
hydroalcoholic gel to avoid being contaminated by
new coronavirus proves that the authorities’ message has been well passed: this emerging disease is transmitted by droplets, secretions projected invisible during a discussion, sneezing, or by cough, recalls the Ministry of Solidarity and Health on his
site. Until proven otherwise, many readers of 20 minutes, who would like to know if other contamination routes are possible:

“Is the coronavirus transmitted by blood? »Fabrice

“If your hands have open wounds (chapped skin, cuts), can you catch the Covid-19 by touching infected surfaces?” »Annie

“Can the coronavirus infect us through a wound, or damaged skin in contact with the virus? »Lang

Here are the answers 20 minutes found:

The Ministry of the Interior, WHO, Public Health France… All the media consulted indicate that the new coronavirus is transmitted by close contact with a sick person, due to the droplets that it will have projected towards you by sneezing or coughing, or because you shake her hand.

What confirms with 20 minutes Christophe Bécavin, researcher at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (CNRS-University of the Côte d’Azur) and specialist in the mechanisms of Covid-19 entry into the body: “The new coronavirus is not transmitted by blood. And, if so, it has not yet been proven. It has been shown to first hit receptors in the nose. It will then infect the cells forming the respiratory tract to the pulmonary alveoli [ces minces sacs creux qui prolongent les voies respiratoires, et où se déroulent les échanges gazeux avec le sang]. A critical form of the infection can form when the virus attacks cells around the alveoli: it will change their structure, so gas exchange will be less good, but it will not go into the blood. “

Admittedly, new coronavirus was found in the blood of infected people, “but this remains very rare,” adds Dimitri Lavillette, CNRS researcher seconded to the Pasteur Institute in Shanghai and whose work focuses on the interspecies transmission of the virus . This can be the case at the last moments of the patient, when the infection is generalized and affects all the organs. But what you need to know is that the infected person develops antibodies – those who die will not have developed enough. These antibodies can complex the virus, which will then fail to infect you. Clearly, even if we can detect virus in your blood, it does not mean that this virus will be infectious. “

To sum up, in the current state of knowledge about Covid-19, it is not transmitted by blood. “If you have a wound, in your hand, for example, and you have been in contact with the blood of a patient, or a contaminated surface, it is unlikely that you will get sick,” reassures Dimitri Lavillette. In all cases, it will be necessary to adopt the barrier gestures, that is to wash and disinfect the hands.

Once this danger had been averted, the authorities took the opportunity to recall that “the blood taken during blood donations is systematically decontaminated from all viruses. There is therefore no risk in giving or receiving blood. People who are not sick are also urged to continue donating blood, despite the confinement, “insist the Interior Ministry and the EFS.

So that you can see more clearly, 20 minutes is working to answer your questions, which you can send to us by following the procedure below. Thank you in advance (and take care of yourself)!

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