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Covid-19 Spread Through Air: CDC Updates Guidelines

There have been multiple debates going on about the mode of Covid-19 spread since the beginning of the pandemic. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the virus can also transmit through air. Also, viral particles can stay in the air for up to several hours.

The CDC updated its guidelines this Monday stating that the most common means of coronavirus spread is close contact with one another. However, the virus can also spread through the air in particular cases.

Smaller viral particles tend to linger for a longer period and ventilation plays an important role. A poorly ventilated environment can support the presence of tiny viral particles in the air. Meanwhile, mostly Covid-19 spread through sneezing, coughing, or even talking.

According to the CDC, sometimes the virus spreads when a person is doing a strenuous workout or singing. This leads to the production of smaller respiratory droplets carrying the viral load that can infect other people. The CDC also mentioned that in some cases people contracted the coronavirus after the infected individual left.

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Previously, several experts suggested that the novel virus can transmit to other people through the air. The CDC updated their guidelines last month saying that heavy breathing or speaking and singing can lead to aerosol production. The aerosols consist of the viral load that can infect other people. However, they later removed the new guidelines form their website.

Donald Milton is an aerobiologist from the University of Maryland. He mentioned the acknowledgment by the CDC that coronavirus is an airborne virus. Linsey Marr is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, also an aerosol science expert. Professor Marr said that the airborne spread of the virus occurs through inhaling the viral load present in the air.

This airborne viral transmission occurs more frequently when individuals are near each other. This calls for necessary precautions to save yourself from airborne infection. Experts suggest wearing a face mask indoors as well. This can help when people from other households come to visit as they might carry coronavirus.

Covid-19 spread through air suggests that it can also occur when people are standing at a minimum distance of six feet. It is the best practice to carry on with the precautionary measures when having contact with people outside your household. These measures should stay intact inside the home and outside as well.

Also read- Healthy Lungs Become Rare Due to Air Pollution in India

Experts also stress the importance of ventilation to prevent the lingering of viral particles in the air. There are several ways to improve ventilation such as keeping doors and windows open to let the air pass through. Also, air filters can help prevent coronavirus transmission through the air.

Since the virus can spread through close contact, any gathering should occur outside in an open space to prevent virus transmission. As the virus can also transmit through a 6 feet distance, the outdoor gathering can help disperse the virus.

CDC stresses maintaining social distancing and necessary hygiene to prevent contracting the virus. The guidelines suggest people wear their masks, wash hands, and keep appropriate distance whenever possible.

Bisma Nasar

I am a freelance writer and my field of expertise is Microbiology and Genetics. I also write about advancements in medicine and general health.

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