Researchers detected coronavirus in the air four meters away from infected persons
Coronavirus has been found in particles in the air four meters away from sick individuals, according to a new report from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence pointing at airborne transmission as an important way for the virus to spread.
“The finding was unexpected and interesting, but we can unfortunately not say whether virus that is transported in this way over a certain distance in the air is in fact contagious”, senior researcher Jostein Gohli from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment said to Romerikes Blad.
Gohli heads the research project NorCov2 which has spent the past year doing research on how the coronavirus acts in public spaces.
The researchers have among other things investigated the share of virus particles in the air around infected individuals at various distances. This was done in order to try and measure the amount of virus in the room. The furthest distance of measured coronavirus then, was four meters away from the infected individual.
The researchers have not studied whether or not the amount of virus found in the air is enough to actually infect another person.
“We still lack a lot of pieces in the puzzle that is understanding what is a safe distance and not”, Gohli says to VG.
The most startling finding was that there was more virus in the air around patients admitted for respiratory treatment compared to other infected individuals. This is an indication that respiratory treatment may be associated with an increased risk for health personnel.
The coronavirus is still considered to mainly spread via droplets.
Translated by: Ida Irene Bergstrøm