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Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 01:48 pm

There’s no denying it – COVID-19 airborne transmissions are possible and this is what makes indoor spaces, like offices, potentially dangerous…

The lack of adequate ventilation in many indoor environments like homes and offices greatly increases the risk of COVID-19 airborne transmission.

This is according to scientists from Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and Australia’s Queensland University of Technology.

How COVID-19 becomes airborne

Covid-19, like many viruses, is less than 100mn in size but expiratory droplets (from people who have coughed or sneezed) contain water, salts and other organic material, along with the virus itself.

Experts from GCARE and Australia note that, as the water content from the droplets evaporates, the microscopic matter becomes small and light enough to stay suspended in the air and over time the concentration of the virus will build up, increasing the risk of infection – particularly if the air is stagnant like in many indoor environments.

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Improving ventilation is critical

The study highlights improving building ventilation as a possible route to tackling indoor transmission of Covid-19.

“These past months, living through the COVID-19 crisis, has been truly unprecedented, but we must turn this global tragedy into an opportunity to better prepare for similar threats,” says Professor Prashant Kumar, lead author and Director of the GCARE at the University of Surrey.

Prof Kumar says that improved indoor ventilation is an important step that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.

However, more must be done to recognise and understand airborne transmission of COVID-19 and similar viruses,” adds Prof Kumar, “to minimise the build-up of virus-laden air in places typically containing high densities of people.”

Source: University of Surrey via


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