This blog is the missing link and why Covid has become a ‘world pandemic.’ It is also something governments must think about and use to enable countries to plan and move forward to help dissipate the virus.
To date scientists have considered the two main routes of transmission of coronavirus are infection by coming into contact with something that has the virus on it and infection through droplets expelled in sneezes and coughs.
A new study by scientists in Japan have found a third transmission route for the virus. According to the president of the Japanese Association for Infectious Disease, a new study shows that micrometer particles could be transmitting coronavirus when people are in close proximity to one another.
These microdroplets are less than 100th of millimetre in size and may spread the coronavirus. Previously, scientists believed coronavirus spreads when droplets from coughs and sneezes travel through the air.
The study states:
“Experts are now looking at this new infection mechanism as a key to preventing a further spread of the virus. It seems transmissions are happening during conversations and even when people are standing a certain distance apart. These cases can’t be explained by ordinary droplet infection.”
In an experiment, the Japanese public broadcaster, NHK found that when a person coughs in an enclosed space the size of a classroom, about 100,000 droplets can be released within a few seconds.
Large droplets were seen falling to the floor within 20 to 30 seconds, but rather than falling to the ground these microdroplets, float in the air and drift about and can remain in the air for 20 minutes in enclosed spaces leaving other people in the space vulnerable to possible infection as people inhale them and that’s how the virus spreads.
With a single cough capable of spreading 100,000 droplets, microdroplets could also spread during simple conversations. This leaves people at risk of infection virtually all the time.
If the coronavirus particles are suspected to be spread through micrometer particles, it becomes all the more difficult to stop the infection as the viral particles are so small the filtration ability of surgical masks is insufficient.