Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | Cold/Flu | study | airborne | transmission

Study Shows Coronavirus Found in Hospital Air

coronavirus spores float in the air into an elevator in a graphic illustration of the airborne virus
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 December 2020 04:24 PM

A new study from Central Hospital at France's University of Nantes shows COVID-19 can be detected in hospital air in high amounts, which could explain how frontline healthcare workers contract the virus.

According to the researchers, the coronavirus can be detected in about one-in-four hospital Intensive Care Unit rooms with COVID-19 patients, in more than one-in-five hospital bathrooms, and in more than half of hospital hallways. The researchers note the presence of the virus in high concentration in the air, combined with poor ventilation and cramped circumstances, could lead to healthcare workers contracting the coronavirus despite safety precautions.

"The switch from airborne to droplet precautions, combined with a global shortage of face masks and respirators, fed the controversy regarding respiratory protections to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2," the study reads. "This generated a mistrust in personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly regarding surgical masks and their ability to protect HCPs [health care professionals] from SARS-CoV-2 transmission."

The study notes, "As the World Health Organization recently acknowledged, airborne transmission could occur in crowded and closed environments in the community. This raises the question of whether similar transmission could occur in the hospital. Viral contamination of the air surrounding patients with COVID-19 and HCPs in hospitals might have serious implications for outbreak control strategies. We reviewed the current evidence on air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in hospital settings, the viral load, and associated factors to better assess the risk of cross-transmission of COVID-19 among HCPs and patients."

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A new study from Central Hospital at France's University of Nantes shows COVID-19 can be detected in hospital air in high amounts, which could explain how frontline healthcare workers contract the virus.
study, airborne, transmission, hospitals, research, pandemic, covid-19
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2020-24-23
Wednesday, 23 December 2020 04:24 PM
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