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After 20 minutes in the air, covid loses most of its transmission capacity, says study

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The study said that air temperature had no effect on coronavirus infectivity.

A study from the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Center has shown that the coronavirus loses its ability to infect soon after exhalation and is less likely to be contagious over long distances.

Researchers found that the virus loses 90% of its contagion 20 minutes after becoming airborne and that most of the damage occurs in the first five minutes after exposure to the air, according to the study, which explains how the virus spreads after exhalation. He deals with it.

Some countries have begun a debate about an endemic stage of the virus in Europe, with insights into the way the virus travels through the air will help with containment measures. The results of this study, which have not been peer-reviewed, reinforce the notion that the virus primarily spreads over short distances, providing fresh support for social distancing and the wearing of masks as a means of preventing infection. Is.

Investigators in the UK focused on the three earlier coronavirus types, which did not include the most recent omicron, but said they do not expect other circulating variants to behave differently.

“As you go further away, not only is the aerosol diluted, but there is also a less infectious virus because the virus has lost its infectivity. [as a result of time],” said research center director Jonathan Reid in an interview with the Guardian, which first reported the study on Tuesday.

The findings indicate that the viral particles dry out rapidly after leaving the moist and carbon dioxide-rich environment of the lungs, curbing their ability to infect other people. Air humidity was found to be a determining factor for how fast these particles are inactivated, with shower rooms seeing slower air than offices.

At humidity levels below 50%, similar to the dry air found in offices, the virus lost half of its ability to spread within five seconds. The study showed that when humidity rose to 90%, similar to shower room levels, the virus gradually lost its infectivity, with more than half of the particles still infectious after five minutes.

The study noted that air temperature had no effect on virus transmission.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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