The Wuhan Coronavirus has dragged the world into severe darkness and distress leading to infect a massive population of more than 1.6 million people across the world and claimed the lives of 102,774 individuals across the world. While till now it was believed that the coronavirus can travel in the air up to 3 feet after it is released through sneeze or cough of an infected person, and people should maintain a distance of around 6 feet to be on the safer side, now researchers from Beijing have revealed in a study that the novel coronavirus can travel up to 13 feet from the infected patient’s body. The new report was established after examining air samples from the hospital wards that the virus can be present up to 13 feet (about four meters) of the patient that is twice the current earlier guidelines suggest.
The preliminary research was conducted by Chinese researchers which were published on Friday on Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of US center for disease control and prevention.
The researchers at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing tested the surfaces and air samples from the Intensive Care Unit and general ward where patients of Coronavirus had been admitted at the Houshenshan Hospital in Wuhan. The hospital admitted 24 patients between 19 February and 2 March.
They observed that the virus was heavily concentrated on the floors of the wards, perhaps because of the gravity and airflow causing most droplets containing the virus to float to the ground.
Areas like computer mice, trash can, bed rails, and doorknobs were most affected.
The researchers even revealed “Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive. Therefore, half of the samples from the soles of the medical staff shoes might function as a carrier.”
The researcher team also revealed that the droplets of the virus become suspended and remain airborne for several hours, unlike cough or sneeze droplets that fall to the ground within seconds. The team observed so-called aerosol transmission of Coronavirus, when the droplets of the virus are so fine they become suspended and remain airborne for several hours. They asserted that they found virus-laden aerosols were mainly found in 13 feet and also 8 feet upstream.
Although the team said that it is unclear if these ultra-fine particles are infectious.
They also offered advice, “Our findings suggest that home isolation of persons with suspected COVID-19 might not be a good control strategy” given the levels of environmental contamination.
Aerosolization of the coronavirus is a contentious area for scientists who are researching on it because it is now clear how infectious the disease is.
The Chinese coronavirus has infected 1,699,490 people across the world, and 102,774 people have succumbed to virus. While 377,040 have been recovered.