COVID patients exhale high levels of virus the first eight days
A team of researchers at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, looked into the risk of Covid infection based on changes in the amount of aerosol particles.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed Covid is an airborne disease.
This means the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person into the air and then onto someone else.
To study the transmission of Covid in more depth, the researchers utilised a mannequin that emits aerosol particles for the study.
Moved indoors, the mannequin fulfilled four conditions whereby the team measured the amount of aerosol particles within a specific range.
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Four conditions of the mannequin:
- Walking (5 kilometres per hour)
- Jogging (10 km/h)
- Running (15 km/h)
- Sprinting (20 km/h)
The researchers also compared the results with and without ventilation.
The study’s results
The findings showed that the number of aerosol particles peaked within five seconds in all conditions and then dropped sharply.
It is believed the particles were diffused due to the vortex created by the mannequin’s movement.
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The researchers also noted that the faster the mannequin moved, the fewer the number of aerosol particles within the peak of five seconds.
It is assumed that more exhaled breaths and faster vortex speeds promoted diffusion.
When in ventilated conditions, the number of aerosol particles in all cases were also minimised.
Professor Takeshi Asai said: “We found that if you take five seconds of safety measures, the (infection) risk is significantly reduced.”
These measures included holding one’s breath within five seconds of passing a person, keeping a distance of at least one metre, and standing upwind of the infected person.
Professor Asai added: ” We need to take preventive measures based on scientific evidence in various situations such as sports and events.”
In the UK, the best preventative measures include vaccination, good hand hygiene, and staying away from people who are ill.
The research study was published in the British academic journal Scientific Reports.
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