A recent news report published in The Wall Street Journal written by Daniela Hernandez, Sara Toy and Best McKay highlights about a growing general consensus among people on ‘how exactly do people catch covid – 19?’.
The WSJ based on various research studies, throws some light on some of the important factors that helps us to understand, how people get infected during this coronavirus crisis. Let us have a look at it.
The three key factors
The three key factors that may lead to the infection of covid – 19 are
- the proximity with an infected person,
- the number of contacts with infected persons and
- the duration of contact with infected persons.
According to a study, “An estimated 10% of people with Covid-19 are responsible for about 80% of transmissions.”
The study adds “Some people with the virus may have a higher viral load, or produce more droplets when they breathe or speak, or be in a confined space with many people and bad ventilation when they’re at their most infectious point in their illness.”
The covid – 19 path to infection
- You have to be exposed to a sufficient amount of the virus.
- Face-to-face contact with an infected person.
- 15 minutes or more of unprotected contact with someone very close.
- A person wearing a mask will expose others to fewer respiratory droplets than one without a mask.
- Fresh air can dilute the concentration of the respiratory droplets.
A researcher feels that “Similar transmission dynamics could be at play in other settings where heavy breathing and loud talking are common over extended periods, like gyms, musical or theater performances, conferences, weddings and birthday parties.”
1 million copies of the virus
- Research suggests that it takes at least 1 million copies of the virus to cause infection.
- Transmission of the virus via face-to-face is far more likely than catching it from touching a contaminated surface.
- Prolonged exposure is defined as 15 minutes with someone less than 6 feet away.
- The longer you are exposed to a person, the more of their virus-infected respiratory droplets you are exposed to.
- Interacting with people outdoors is safer than indoors.
He adds, “Of 61 clusters of cases in Japan between Jan. 15 and April 4, many involved heavy breathing in close proximity, such as karaoke parties, cheering at clubs, talking in bars and exercising in gyms, according to a recent study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
Studies can protect public health
He moreover says that, “The so-called attack rate—the percentage of people who were infected in a specific place or time—can be very high in crowded events, homes and other spaces where lots of people are in close, prolonged contact.”
These emerging findings are helping businesses and governments devise reopening strategies to protect public health while getting economies going again.
That includes tactics like installing plexiglass barriers, requiring people to wear masks in stores and other venues, using good ventilation systems and keeping windows open when possible.
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Source: The Wall Street Journal