August month's 3 new published scientific studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can spread in various ways than the ways we were earlier aware. Scientific research from different parts of the globe has evaluated 3 separate factors in each study, such as low humidity, public restrooms, and airborne dust.
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases published study has confirmed early research held in the Greater Sydney, Australia area during the initial stages of the pandemic outbreak that reported a connection between low humidity and community spread of COVID-19.
The latest research conducted at Sydney School of Veterinary Science led by Dr. Michael Ward has mentioned that behind the growing body of evidence, low humidity is a critical factor in the rapid spread of COVID-19. The scientists estimated that a decline in 1% of the relative environmental humidity, increases the COVID-19 cases by 7 to 8%. However, no other weather pattern else than humidity has shown any link in COVID-19 spread.
As per Dr. Michael Ward, dry air favors the spread of the virus. He says that in lower humidity, the air is drier, which makes the aerosols smaller. Comparatively, aerosols are smaller than water droplets. When an individual sneeze or coughs, the small infectious aerosols stay suspended in the air for longer, which also increases the exposure to other people. When the air is humid, and the aerosols are heavier and larger, they quickly fall and hit the surface. The recommendation of wearing a mask is added due to this finding.
A second study held at Yangzhou University by the Chinese researchers has reported that flushing a urinal or public restroom toilet can release virus-loaded aerosols clouds that can be inhaled, causing a severe public health challenge.
The scientists simulated and tracked the virus-loaded particle motion when urinals and toilets were flushed. The scientist found that flushing includes interaction between liquid and gas, resulting in widespread aerosol particles.
The results of the experiment have revealed the disturbing results that the track of the virus particles ejected from toilet flush has shown that more than 57% of the particles traveled away from the urinal. The scientist further pointed out that when men use urinals in a public restroom, the tiny particles reach their thigh within 5.5 seconds while the toilet flush takes 35 seconds to reach slightly higher.
One of the authors of the study, Xiang-Dong Liu, mentioned that from their work, it could be assumed that urinal flushing actually promotes the spread of viruses and bacteria. When using public toilets, wearing a mask should be mandatory. Alongside this, anti-diffusion improvements are required urgently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A third study conducted at Mt. Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine and Davis-based the University of California has reported that influenza viruses could spread through the air on fibers, dust, and various other microscopic particles. Till now the scientists have assumed that airborne transmission occurs majorly because of the respiratory droplets emitted by sneezing, coughing, or talking.
The researchers have also examined if non-respiratory and tiny particles can carry influenza between guinea pigs. They have employed an automated particle sizer to count airborne particles. They concluded that uninfected guinea pigs emit out the spikes of up to 1,000 particles per the second while they move around the cage.
Animals' breathing emitted particles were at a constant but lower rate. The influenza virus immune guinea pigs (painted on their fur) could effectively transmit the virus via the air to other susceptible guinea pigs, which shows that the virus has no direct path from the respiratory tract to be infectious.
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