'COVID-19 is indeed airborne', confirms CCMB-CSIR study

Some of their crucial findings from the analysis included that the virus could be frequently detected in air around Covid-19 patients.

Published: 04th May 2022 03:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2022 10:43 AM   |  A+A-

Covid, Coronavirus, Covid vaccine, Monoclonal antibody therapy

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and CSIR-IMTech, Chandigarh together have found conclusive evidence that SARS- CoV-2 is airborne and that if two or more Covid-19 infected individuals are in a room, the virus in air had the positivity rate of 75 per cent.

The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Aerosol Science. The scientists as part of the same analysed for the Coronavirus' genome content from air samples collected from different areas occupied by COVID-19 patients.

This included samples from hospitals, closed rooms in which only Covid-19 patients spent a short period of time, and houses of home-quarantined COVID-19 patients. 

Some of their crucial findings from the analysis included that the virus could be frequently detected in the air around COVID-19 patients. Moreover, the positivity rate increased with the number of patients present on the premises. 

The virus was also found in ICU as well as non-ICU sections of hospitals, suggesting that patients shed the virus in air irrespective of the severity of infection. The study also found viable Coronavirus in air that could infect living cells, and these viruses could spread over a long-range. Scientists still suggest wearing face masks to avoid the spread of Coronavirus. 

"Our results show that Coronavirus can stay in the air for some time in absence of ventilation in closed spaces. We find that the positivity rate of finding the virus in air was 75 per cent when two or more Covid-19 patients were present in a room, in contrast to 15.8 per cent when one or no Covid patients occupied the room in these studies," explained Dr Shivranjani Moharir, scientist involved in the study.

Shee added: "Our observations are concurrent with previous studies that suggest that the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is higher in indoor air as compared to outdoor air; and indoors, it is higher in hospital and healthcare settings that host a larger number of COVID-19 patients, as compared to that in community indoor settings."

Meanwhile, Dr Rakesh Mishra, the lead scientist of the work, AcSIR Distinguished Emeritus Professor at CCMB, and Director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society said, "As we are back to conducting in-person activities, air surveillance is a useful means to predict infection potential of spaces like classrooms, meeting halls. This can help refine strategies to control the spread of infections."

 He also added that the air surveillance technique is not just limited to Coronavirus but can also be optimised to monitor other air-borne infections.


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  • NAMO

    FFing Wow. I thought we knew this 2 years back. No wonder they cant do anything worthwhile.
    5 months ago reply
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