Based on the question of how the coronavirus is transmitted, I would like to share with you 3 detailed analyzes prepared with real data from the institutions* whose names I have given below. This research explains very well how Covid-19 is transmitted by air in offices, restaurants and buses and how it can be prevented. From now on, you will think twice before entering closed spaces. Read how the coronavirus is transmitted and take your precautions accordingly.
Three COVID-19 Outbreak Analysis:
WHAT HAPPENED, HOW WAS IT AVOIDED?
1st Office, 2nd Restaurant and 3rd Bus Examples
At the start of the pandemic, the large droplets we expel when we cough or sneeze were believed to be the main means of transmission. In fact, since these large droplets quickly fell to the ground, it was thought that the possibility of airborne transmission was low. For this reason, WHO (World Health Organization) initially made a mistake and did not recommend the use of masks. But now we know that the most dangerous and perhaps the only way of transmission is by air.
Important note 1 : The masks mentioned in the examples are real masks. Real masks have three layers and a “Meltblown” filter in the middle layer. Make sure that the box you will buy says “Meltblown filter” because the text on the box legally binds the manufacturer.
Important note 2: In the study “Aerosol” The word describes droplets smaller than 100 microns that contain active virus and can hang in the air for hours.
1) OFFICE – How is the coronavirus transmitted?
We’ll look at where there is a call center in Seoul, South Korea. The probability of infection risk multiplied by these main factors: Prolonged contact of many and close people in a confined space.
In summary, as a result of the investigations carried out by the local authorities, it was revealed that almost all of the infected people were on the 11th floor in this 19-storey building with more than a thousand residents and office workers, and moreover, almost all of the infected people worked in the same room. Although the employees on different floors of the building encountered each other in common areas such as the elevator and the lobby, and these encounters sometimes took quite a long time, the spread of the virus was largely limited to the room where the employees were sitting at the desks. This too the importance of contact time was showing.
According to the report of Seoul officials, contact time was likely the main factor in spreading the infection. Scientists and healthcare professionals aim to reduce risk by offering advice to people, including working remotely, wearing real masks, not sharing even office supplies, canceling large gatherings, avoiding crowds at access points and food and beverage outlets, and adequate natural ventilation. “We have to reduce crowding and the time people spend together,” says Maricruz Minguillón, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute for Environmental Assessment and Water Studies. “If we reduce both factors, we reduce the risk”.
How could contamination be avoided in the office?
2. RESTAURANT– How is the coronavirus transmitted?
A New Year’s Eve dinner in Guangzhou, China on January 24 is a good example of what the risks are indoors. This scenario has been analyzed in great detail by the Chinese health authorities and it has been concluded that prolonged cohabitation and lack of adequate ventilation are the determining risk factors. In addition, not using real masks and close distance increase the risk of transmission.
Cameras in the restaurant show that those infected do not come into contact with each other in toilets or anywhere else that could lead to transmission of the virus. Although close contact plays an important role in the transmission of Covid-19, the risk of transmission of the virus through small airborne droplets (Aerosols) is also very high in crowded and poorly ventilated rooms – the windows in the restaurant were closed – according to scientists. Scientists insist on avoiding indoor circulation and holding activities outdoors as much as possible, stating that it is vital to avoid overcrowding, as well as good ventilation in buildings and public transport, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
How could contamination be avoided in the restaurant?
US scientists and Chinese officials and researchers studied the outbreak in people attending a Buddhist ceremony after traveling on two buses for 50 minutes each. An infected passenger without symptoms was traveling in one of the air-conditioned closed-air vehicles. 23 passengers on that bus became infected. “The infected person in this outbreak appears to be a super spreader,” says Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. “As in the restaurant, the mechanism by which the infection spreads can be explained by the closed windows and the closed-circuit air conditioning spreading the aerosols and droplets farther,” he adds.
How could contamination be avoided on the bus?
Many studies have shown that public transport can be low risk, provided hygiene, distance and especially the use of real masks. It is also important to introduce special protection measures for drivers of public transport, improve ventilation and increase passenger bus and train services to reduce crowding.
In any environment where people are together for a long time, these measures should be taken with priority given to those that are most effective in protecting us from the risk of infection.
How Is the Coronavirus Transmitted? More importantly, how can we stop this?
Today, health authorities recognize that the main transmission route of the coronavirus is the droplets emitted by the speaking and coughing of the infected person, reaching the eyes, mouth or nose of people close to them. Inanimate objects that contain disease-carrying microorganisms and cause transmission to humans. “Fomit” (For example, plastic, glass, metal objects carrying active viruses). The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now recognized that the risk of contracting the disease due to viruses in fomites is minimal. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) also reported that not a single case of Covid-19 caused by fomite was detected. (Let’s not be afraid that it can be contaminated by things anymore).
As a result, although not as contagious as measles, scientists now recognize that aerosols (respiratory droplets, infectious particles smaller than 100 microns in diameter that can hang in the air for hours) are contagious. In other words, the most dangerous and perhaps the only way of transmission may be aerosols, and the disease is transmitted by inhaling the aerosols released into the environment when the infected person breathes. After leaving the mouth, aerosols start to hang in the air and accumulate and continue to accumulate in a closed room without ventilation (just as the room is filled with cigarette smoke in a non-ventilated and constantly smoking room).
In an unventilated room, the amount of aerosol inhaled by an infected person in minutes is as follows:
talking loudly, shouting, singing
In fact, we can say that shouting and singing for a long time in closed and poorly ventilated areas increases the risk of contamination. This is because speaking loudly emits 50 times more virus-laden aerosols than not speaking. These accumulate gradually in a place with insufficient ventilation, and this accumulation increases the risk of contamination. Scientists have shown that infected persons who do not wear masks, do not wear masks appropriately, or wear fake masks can transmit the virus to others within a five meter radius. The severity of the transmission depends on how long the infected person has been in close proximity and the action of the infected person (such as standing silently, talking or shouting).
The example below summarizes which conditions increase the risk of transmission.
To calculate the probability of transmission among “at-risk” people, the “Covid Airborne Transmission Prediction Tool” developed by a group of scientists led by Professor José Luis Jiménez of the University of Colorado was used. This tool aims to highlight the importance of measures to prevent aerosol transmission. The calculator does not cover all of the numerous variables that affect contamination, but it shows how we can reduce the risk of contamination by changing the conditions we can control.
Conclusion – how does the coronavirus spread
During the simulations, subjects can avoid the risk of transmission through droplets by maintaining the recommended safe distance, but they can still become infected if all preventive measures are not applied at the same time. As a preventive measure, we can count correct ventilation, keeping conversations short, reducing the number of participants and using real face masks. Outdoors is ideal, since infectious aerosols quickly disperse and disappear in the open air, regardless of conditions. If you do not stay away from the infected person enough, the possibility of transmission increases because in this case, there is a risk of transmission not only from aerosols but also from droplets emitted by the infected person at that moment. Worse still, if two people, one of whom is infected, are too close together, transmission can occur even with adequate ventilation.
The calculations shown in the three different scenarios we mentioned above (office, restaurant, bus) are based on studies of how aerosol transmission occurs by evaluating real outbreaks that have been analyzed in detail.
Source: 1, 2
- Research Resources
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
- Guangzhou and Hangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention,
- Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security,
- Institute for Environmental Assessment and Water Studies of the Spanish National Research Council,
- European Center for Disease Prevention and Control,
- International Air Quality and Health Laboratory (WHO),
South Korean Government camekanS
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