Spreading Viruses

November 2, 2020

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Anchor lead: Questions about how viruses, especially Sars-CoV2, spread, remain, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Can you get Covid-19 from a cell phone? How about if you enter a room where someone with the infection has been recently but they’ve left? Aaron Milstone, an infectious diseases expert at Johns Hopkins, says most research points to what are known as droplets as the most likely means of transmission but other means are possible.

Milstone: There’s also the question of whether or not these viruses can aerosolize. Can they get into the environment and spread farther distances? Droplets fall out of the air usually within about six feet around you, which is where that six foot distance comes from, but the concern is whether these aerosols can get into the air and spread much farther. Sars-CoV2 doesn’t seem to be quite as contagious and so although we think it’s possible we think it’s less likely. There’s also the question about inanimate surfaces. These are probably less common.   :29

Milstone recommends extra caution rather than overconfidence until a more complete picture of transmission risk is known. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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