Coronavirus can span 13 feet, double the social distance limit, study finds


A new study has found that people with coronavirus may be able to spread it four meters – twice the distance recommended by the government in social distancing guidelines.

Chinese scientists tested air and surface samples in two hospital departments at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, the city where the epidemic began between February 9 and March 2.

The intensive care unit had 15 patients and the general unit had 24 patients with milder symptoms.

Scientists have measured aerosol transmission – when the droplets of the virus are so fine that they hang and stay in the air for several hours.

People all over the world observe the rules of social distancing – but is that enough distance?

The results of a team experiment from the Beijing Academy of Military Sciences were published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday.

The results confirmed that virus-laden aerosols were mainly concentrated near and downstream of patients up to four meters, although smaller amounts were found upstream up to two meters away.

Since the epidemic, the government has advised people to stay two meters apart to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The study found that the virus was mainly spread on floors, computer mice, trash cans and patient bed handrails.

The study also suggests that the virus can spread on the sole of shoes.

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Coronavirus prevention

It reads: “In addition, half of the shoe sole samples from ICU medical staff have tested positive. Therefore, the sole of the shoes of medical personnel could function as supports.

“We strongly recommend that people disinfect the soles of shoes before leaving rooms containing COVID-19 patients.”
However, the authors added that as of March 30, no staff at the hospital had been infected “accusing that proper precautions could effectively prevent the infection”.

He adds: “In addition, our results suggest that home isolation of suspected Covid-19 individuals may not be a good control strategy.

“Family members generally do not have personal protective equipment and have no vocational training, which easily leads to clustered family infections.”


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