Coronavirus genetic material found in the air of two hospitals in Wuhan: researchers

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Concerns about spread of SARS-CoV-2 in air have increased after researchers in Wuhan, China discovered the coronavirus germplasm in airborne droplets, says new study in two hospitals.

The research, published in the scientific journal Nature, found the virus’s ribonucleic acid (RNA) in different areas of the two hospitals in February and March. Although the RNA found in isolation rooms and ventilated patient rooms was “very low”, there was a “high” level in patient toilets, the researchers found.

“Although we have not established the infectivity of the virus detected in these hospital areas, we suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may have the potential to be transmitted by aerosols,” the researchers wrote in the summary of the study. “Our results indicate that room ventilation, open spaces, disinfection of protective clothing, and proper use and disinfection of toilets can effectively limit the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols. “

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Currently, there is no known scientific cure for the condition known as COVID-19, however, a number of drugs are being tested to see if they can treat it.

The findings from Wuhan, the initial epicenter of what was to become a global pandemic, follow other research that the new coronavirus may be airborne.

In March, a joint study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska, and other researchers discovered genetic material for the virus that causes COVID-19 in air samples from confirmed and external coronavirus patients. ‘ rooms. The results offer “limited evidence that there is some potential for transmission by air,” the researchers said, although they warned that the results did not confirm spread by air.

A separate study also released in March suggested that the new COVID-19 coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.

“Our results indicate that the transmission of aerosols and fomites of HCoV-19 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable in aerosols for several hours and on surfaces for several days,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed. .

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As of Wednesday morning, more than 3.1 million cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed worldwide, including more than one million in the United States, the most affected country on the planet.

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Madeline Farber of Fox News contributed to this story.

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