How coronavirus spreads outdoors vs. indoors
Can a runner give you Covid-19?
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If you want to stay totally safe from Covid-19, and eliminate the risk of either getting it or transmitting it, you have to stay home. But as the weather gets warmer, public places start to open up, and many places enter their fourth month of life under coronavirus, that’s becoming less and less realistic.
At the same time, we know that coronavirus can be transmitted through the air -- and that raises some pretty big questions. Is it safe to go the beach? What about a park? Is a heavy-breathing runner going to infect you as they pass you? In short: How do you go outside safely?
Read Vox reporter Sigal Samuel’s article about the risks of transmitting Covid-19 outdoors:
A helpful chart for thinking through the risks of different scenarios when it comes to Covid-19:
The CDC’s study about the Guangzhou restaurant where one person transmitted the virus to several others:
And the study of the 318 outbreaks in China:
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The TRUTH of How Coronavirus Spreads and Coronavirus Prevention | Airborne Transmission
The TRUTH of How Coronavirus Spreads and Coronavirus Prevention | Airborne Transmission
Coronavirus | COVID-19 YouTube Video Playlist:
Coronavirus Update : Coronavirus Transmission Through Air
It’s becoming clearer and clearer now, that this coronavirus spreads not just through contact and respiratory droplets that fly through the air like ballistics, but also it's being transmitted through the airborne route, meaning through aerosol, meaning the virus lingers in the air, and then someone inhales the virus. This is known as airborne transmission.
Let’s face it, there is a reason why hospitals with designated COVID-19 areas require everyone to wear an N95 respirator mask, as well as eye goggles. That’s because we know that this virus has the potential for airborne transmission. During normal breathing and speech, tiny particles are emitted mainly from the mouth. These particles can range in size, with the smallest being less than a micron (1 um), and the biggest being over 500 um in diameter.
To put some perspective on that, the average diameter of human hair is about 80 microns). Typically droplets that are less than 5 um are considered small, and its these small droplets that can be suspended in the air. Droplets that are over 100 um are considered large, and between 5 and 100 microns is intermediate. But the reality is, it’s a range of sizes, it’s a continuum, from less than 1 um to over 500 um. And more and more particles are emitted when someone is breathing heavier, such as with exercise, …..or if someone is coughing or sneezing, or if someone is shouting or singing.
Due to gravitational forces, particles that are bigger than 5 microns tend to settle, meaning fall down on surfaces such as the floor, and they fall fairly close to the source, typically within 6 feet. This is why the CDC recommends 6 feet for social distancing. But here’s the thing, sometimes these larger particles travel further than that, especially if someone is breathing heavy, or shouting, or singing, or coughing, or sneezing. Typically they fly no further than 12 feet in these situations. But we’re also spraying particles that are smaller than 5 microns, and its tiny particles that don’t act like ballistics, they act more like a gas cloud, where they float in the air, and travel up to 27 feet. The ones that are less than 1 um evaporate within milliseconds of hitting the air, while the particles that are more than 100 um can take up to a minute to evaporate.
What happens when the droplets that are less than 5 microns, what if they are spewed from someone who is infected with the virus, and all of a sudden in midair, they evaporate? Well, they dry out, and you’re left with a virus that is floating in the air. These are called droplet nuclei, aka aerosols. There are lots of factors that determine how long aerosols remain in the air. It depends on the person who emitted the particles, how they emitted them, the temperature, and humidity of the environment. Lack of airflow means this cloud will persist longer. And when this moist cloud finally does dissipate, you’re still going to have droplet nuclei that stay airborne….for about 3 hours, based on that NIH study.
At this point, we might not have 100% conclusive evidence that proves airborne transmission, but there are now several studies that strongly suggest that to be the case. Now just because we know that this virus spreads through the airborne route, that’s not to say that it doesn’t spread through contact and respiratory droplets, meaning the bigger droplets that act like ballistics. It spreads by all 3 of these mechanisms.
So handwashing is still important. As is not touching your face or mask with dirty hands. And maintaining 6 feet apart is a good thing, but its not good enough for certain situations. Remember earlier how I said when someone sneezes, that moist cloud containing aerosols can travel up to 27 feet?, And the virus can linger in the air for 3 hours. Some rooms have adequate ventilation that supplies clean outdoor air and minimizes recirculated air. The better the ventilation, the less likely the spread of aerosols. And even cracking open a window can make a huge difference, and having a fan blowing is good too. Other measures can help too, like having an air purifier with high-efficiency air filtration, and germicidal UV lights.
Dr. Mike Hansen, MD
Internal Medicine | Pulmonary Disease | Critical Care Medicine
See how the coronavirus spreads so easily
While we’re stuck in self-quarantine, we thought we’d try and visualize how the novel coronavirus spreads through a controlled environment like an apartment. Here’s how transmission happens, and what you can do about it.
Check out the EPA’s list of cleaners thought to be effective against the novel coronavirus:
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How COVID-19 Can Spread in a Community
Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer Isaac Ghinai explains how COVID-19 can spread in a community using an example featured in an April 2020 CDC MMWR:
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How Community Spread Happens Fast - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated 4-7-2020
Justin, a millennial, brings a box of donuts to the office and unknowingly spreads the coronavirus to his colleagues who further spread throughout the community. A motion graphic animation to show how healthy people are so crucial in curbing the spread and how community spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) occurs - sometimes unknowingly by seemingly healthy people spreading the disease rapidly in socially dense environments.
How Contagious is COVID-19? (Transmission, Spread, and R0)
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs via droplet transmission, contact transmission, and aerosol transmission. Droplet transmission occurs when respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes are inhaled by a person nearby. Contact transmission occurs when a person touches a contaminated surface and then their mouth, nose, or eyes. Aerosol transmission occurs when respiratory droplets containing the virus mix into the air and then are inhaled. COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard, 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel and up to three hours in aerosols, which include fog, mist, dust, air pollutants, and smoke. Therefore, it is possible to get infected by touching contaminated objects or through the air.
The incubation period is the time between infection and symptom onset for an illness. Estimates for COVID-19’s incubation period vary from 2-14 days, but it is generally assumed to be around 5 days. There is more debate about the latent period, which is the time between infection and infectiousness. It is now thought that people can be infectious before showing symptoms, and so the latent period is shorter than the incubation period.
An imported case occurs when a traveler is infected in one area and is reported as sick in another area. Local transmission occurs if that traveler infects others, or if there is a cluster of cases locally and the spread is easily traced. Community transmission occurs when there is no clear source of infection.
Infectivity can be measured using R0. R0 is important epidemiology jargon, short for reproduction number. It is the number of cases, on average, that an infected person will cause during their infectious period. So if R0 =2, then an infected person will infect an average of 2 other people while they are infectious. There are two important variants of the R0. The basic reproduction number represents the maximum potential of a pathogen to infect people – basically what would happen if an infectious person entered a community with no prior immunity. The effective reproductive number describes the current vulnerability of a population based on whether people have immunity thanks to vaccination or prior exposure. The effective R0 decreases over the course of the outbreak. Note that both basic and effective reproduction number depend on factors such as environment and demographics in addition to the pathogen’s infectiousness. The goal of public health interventions is to bring R0 down to less than 1, as this would cause the disease to die out over time.
The seasonal flu has an R0 ranging from 0.9 – 2.1. There is a lot of debate about the R0 of COVID-19, with estimates from more recent data ranging from 2.7-4.2. The variance in these estimates is largely due to differing model assumptions and a lack of data. For example, models which assume the possibility of being infectious before symptom onset have estimates that are around 0.5 higher.
These high R0 estimates mean there is much greater potential for spread of COVID-19 than for the flu. How much greater? For the purpose of this example, let’s say that the flu has an R0 of 1.5 and COVID-19 has an R0 of 3. After three cycles of infection, 11 people have had the flu, and 40 people have been infected with COVID-19. After ten cycles of infection, this becomes 171 people with the flu, and over 88,000 people with COVID-19.
3D Models from:
3D model shows how an indoor cough can spread a 'cloud' of coronavirus
This 3D model demonstrates to what extent a single cough in an indoor environment can spread an 'aerosol cloud' carrying coronavirus and other air-borne diseases.
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How does COVID-19 spread?
CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
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Why is the Coronavirus Spreading So Quickly? | McFarland Clinic
What is the coronavirus (COVID-19) and why does it seem to be spreading so quickly right now? Dan Fulton, MD of McFarland Clinic Infectious Diseases has the answers. Learn more about Coronavirus and what McFarland Clinic is doing to respond at
Model shows how ventilation can impact COVID-19 spread indoors| CCTV English
A group of researchers say that the air flow inside a restaurant is critical to reducing the chances of transmitting COVID-19. They found that virus particles caught up in a room's air circulation can spread farther than the precautionary six-foot social distancing guideline.
Transmission of COVID-19
Learn about the method of transmission of COVID-19 coronavirus and the difference between droplets and aerosols.
#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #Coronavirus
Summer Gatherings and COVID-19: Staying Safe at Barbecues, Outdoor Activities and Camp
In the era of COVID-19, a summer party requires some new rules to stay safe. Dr. Dean Blumberg, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children's Hospital, explains how to have a barbecue, birthday party or outdoor adventure with friends while minimizing the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. He also explains who might want to avoid daycare or summer camp and why staying home might be a better option for many as COVID-19 continues to spread.
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COVID-19 Update 11: How exactly the coronavirus becomes airborne.
Different diseases have different modes of transmission. And at the same time, one disease can have multiple modes of transmission. Influenza that’s transmitted by aerosols is generally thought to be associated with a more severe illness than influenza that’s transmitted via contact or fomites.
In this video we continue on from update #10 and examine in greater detail the impact of particle size, the concentration of viral RNA in coarse and fine aerosols, and how they differ in the transmission of COVID-19.
Surprisingly, larger particles (from a cough or sneeze) contain less virus than small particles, and are less likely to penetrate into lungs. Individuals who are sick produce fine, virus laden particles during speaking and breathing that have a high viral load and can travel far down into the lungs of a susceptible individual.
#medmastery #coronavirus #COVID19 #sarscov2 #coronaviruschina #coronavirustruth #coronavirusdeaths #WHO #wuhan #infection #pandemic #publichealth
Links for reference:
More updates by Dr. Wiesbauer:
COVID-19 Update 1: How to tell if a pandemic is likely to occur or not–R0 and the serial interval:
COVID-19 Update 2: How to stop an epidemic - Herd immunity:
COVID-19 Update 3: Symptoms of COVID-19:
COVID-19 Update 4: Clinical characteristics of COVID-19:
COVID-19 Update 5: Estimating case fatality rates for COVID-19:
COVID-19 Update 6: Seasonality: will COVID-19 go away in the summer?:
COVID-19 Update 7: This is probably the most important picture of the whole Coronavirus-epidemic:
COVID-19 Update 8: Zinc and chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19?:
COVID-19 Update 9: Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19–Review of study by Didier Raoult:
COVID-19 Update 10: Is COVID-19 an airborne disease? Will we all need to wear face-masks against SARS-CoV-2?
For checking daily developments of cases, deaths and more:
Other useful resources:
New England Journal of Medicine:
Speaker: Franz Wiesbauer, MD MPH
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How coronavirus spreads in an airplane cabin
Karl G. Linden, Ph.D., BCEEM Professor of Environmental
Engineering discusses the spread of COVID-19 on planes.
#COVID19 #coronavirusplanes #COVIDplanes
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Are you safer from COVID-19 indoors or outdoors?
Andrew Chang asks an infectious disease doctor whether it’s safer to be indoors or outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.
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COVID-19 Indoors vs Outdoors - Stay Safe With Dr. Jay Volume 4 - Merrill Gardens
Our Consulting Physician Dr Jay Fathi explains why it is safer to be outdoors and why some people never have any smptoms of the virus.
How COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Spreads
How COVID-19 (coronavirus) Spreads:
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is generally spread through close contact with a confirmed case.
Examples of close contact include spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of a confirmed case or living in the same house as a confirmed case.
Close contact does not involve being around someone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case.
If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case visit for information and advice.
COVID-19: Indoor vs. Outdoor Risks, and the Role of UV Light
Watch Dr. Mandel discuss COVID 19; indoor vs. outdoor risks, and the role of UV light on NewsMax on May 19, 2020.
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3D Model Shows How COVID-19 Can Spread Indoors | NowThis
Researchers in Finland created this 3D model to show how easily COVID-19 can spread in indoor spaces.
In US news and current events today, researchers in Finland created a 3D model to demonstrate how aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus could spread and linger indoors.
Researchers said the model shows that when someone coughs, the aerosol cloud spreads outside the immediate area and takes several minutes to dilute. The environment shown in this model was designed to represent a space like a grocery store, with shelving and ventilation taken into account. Watch the model simulation of COVID-19 spreading here.
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