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How likely are coronavirus transmissions during flights? | COVID-19 Special


How likely are coronavirus transmissions during flights? | COVID-19 Special

During the coronavirus lockdowns, air traffic was largely grounded. Now it is gradually starting up again, but there's a long way to go - also in terms of safety measures.

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Risk of COVID-19 transmission ‘virtually non-existent’ on flights: Airline executive

A new study shows how air particles move through an airplane and what safety precautions to take while onboard.

New findings warn of higher risk in airborne coronavirus transmissions | COVID-19 Special

What does the latest research tell us about the spread of coronavirus? Do masks help prevent new infections?
A study by Berlin's Charite Hospital has found the risk of catching the coronavirus from contaminated surfaces is lower than thought. The bad news is the risk from droplets and aerosols is greater than previously thought. Aerosols are tiny particles, like fine dust. Virus particles can attach themselves to the aeorsols and spread infection. While larger droplets can't travel far because they fall to the ground, smaller aerosols are lighter and float in the air for several hours indoors, spreading all over. Scientists are now certain that these are the main infection route indoors. That means talking, singing, coughing or sneezing can spread the virus when inside.

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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:


How dangerous is virus transmission from wild animals to humans | COVID-19 Special

Some of the worst diseases like Aids, tuberculosis and the plague originally came from animals. The new coronavirus is just the latest.
For a successfull fight against the disieases, we need to know where they start. With us? Or with our friends in the animal kingdom? And how exactly do they move between hosts. Scientists are trying to work that out, but have to be careful not to make matters worse while in the field.

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Five things to know about COVID-19 transmission

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus. This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways that COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

Learn more:

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.

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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?
Useful resources:
For checking daily developments of cases, deaths and more:

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Journal Watch:

New England Journal of Medicine:

Github collaboration:




Speaker: Franz Wiesbauer, MD MPH
Internist & Founder at Medmastery

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Please Note: Medmastery's videos, medical lectures, medical illustrations, and medical animations are for medical education and exam preparation purposes, and not intended to replace recommendations by your doctor or health care provider.

Is Coronavirus COVID-19 Airborne?

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COVID-19 eye transmission is possible but rare

As places start to reopen, don’t forget that in rare cases COVID-19 can be contracted through your eyes.

CDC changes guidance on COVID-19, says airborne transmission is possible

The CDC has again updated its COVID-19 transmission guidance, saying the virus can travel farther than six feet though airborne transmission. At the FDA, career scientists are reportedly being overruled by the White House in their efforts to enact tougher standards on authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. David Begnaud reports.

WHO scientific brief on COVID-19 transmission

WHO issued an updated scientific brief on COVID-19 transmission, which provides information on how, when and in which settings the virus spreads between people.

COVID-19 transmission occurs primarily through direct, indirect or close contact with infected people through their saliva and respiratory secretions, or through their respiratory droplets, which are expelled when they cough, sneeze, talk or sing.

Airborne COVID-19 transmission can occur in health care settings where specific medical procedures generate very small droplets - aerosols.

Some COVID-19 outbreak reports related to crowded indoor spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission combined with droplet transmission e.g. during choir practice, in restaurants or gyms. We need more studies to understand such outbreaks:

Respiratory droplets from infected individuals can also land on objects or other surfaces. It is likely that people can also be infected with COVID-19by touching these surfaces & touching their Eyes, Nose or Mouth before cleaning their Open hands.

Based on what we currently know, COVID-19 transmission primarily occurs when people are showing symptoms, but can also happen just before they develop symptoms - when they are in close proximity to others for prolonged periods of time.

While people who never develop COVID-19 symptoms can also pass the virus to others, it is still not clear to what extent this occurs. More research is needed in this area.

Urgent research is needed on:

-transmission routes
-airborne transmission in the absence of aerosol generating procedures
-dose of virus that will result in infection
-settings and risk factors for superspreading events
-extent of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission

Learn more here:

The threat of coronavirus transmission by asymptomatic carriers | COVID 19

Asymtomatic coronavirus spreaders dont show visible symptoms, like coughing or fever. But they could well be passing on the coronavirus. Experts argue many patients appear most contagious right before the onset of symptoms. Models suggest half all transmissions can be traced back to people, before they get sick - if they get sick at all. Many doctors say therefore only mass testing can break the chain of transmission. But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its testing guidelines to exclude people who don't have symptoms, even if they've been recently exposed to the virus.

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Transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Dr. Eleni Galanis of the BC Centre for Disease Control answers questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus.

WHO Says Covid-19 Asymptomatic Transmission Is ‘Very Rare’

Jun.08 -- Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, says transmission of the coronavirus by people who aren’t showing symptoms is very rare.” She spoke Monday at a briefing in Geneva. (Excerpt)

Coronavirus Transmission | COVID-19 | Wash Hands | Stay Home |

Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 has caused one of the worst pandemic, in recent history.

The easy mode of transmission of this virus has caused it to spread across the world.

There are multiple ways the virus can transfer, that are highlighted in this coronavirus transmission Microbiology video lecture.

Watch complete lecture on -


Coronavirus: COVID-19 transmission largely under control in Canada, say federal health officials

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer held a technical briefing on Wednesday in which he provided the recent data and modelling numbers for COVID-19 in Canada.

Dr. Njoo said that current patterns of COVID-19 show limited or no transmission of the virus in most parts of the country, stressing on the importance of continuing to stay vigilant in order for the epidemic to continue to be under control.

He said that Quebec and Ontario account for 87 per cent of the country's COVID-19 cases and that the reproduction number (RT) of COVID-19 has been below 1 for more than 10 weeks.

In order for the virus transmission to be under control the RT indicator must stay below 1, meaning each case of COVID-19 infects less than one person.

Njoo said the daily numbers of new cases and deaths due to COVID-19 show a steady decline in the COVID-19 activity since the peak of the epedimic in late April, concluding that the transmission is largely under control in Canada.

He said that recent small increase of numbers may be explained by outbreaks and community transmission in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

Njoo reported a total of 106,167 COVID-19 cases nationally and 8,711 deaths to date.

He said 66 per cent of the cases have now recovered and labs across Canada have tested over 3 million people by far.

Njoo added that over the past week an average of 38,000 people have been tested daily with 1 per cent of them testing positive.

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Coronavirus: Dr. Fauci says likely some degree of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 | FULL

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, participated on Friday in a virtual COVID-19 conference hosted by the International AIDS Society along with other health officials.

Dr. Fauci outlined in his presentation the spread of the virus beginning from early January and into a global pandemic with over 11 million cases.

Fauci said he's most disturbed by the wide spectrum of symptoms of COVID-19 ranging from asymptomatic illness up to developing a critical illness.

The director of NIAID reviewed the biology of the novel coronavirus and other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, explaining how the relations between those viruses virology contributes to the development of a potential vaccine.

Fauci also commented on the recent questions on airborne transmission of the virus by saying there is likely some degree of it, but still some questions on aerosol transmission.

He stressed that the virus is still highly infectious in other ways, we learned painfully that the virus is highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, he said.

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Will Coronavirus get worse in winter? || Precautions against COVID-19 during winter || Practo

Will winter have a different effect on Coronavirus? How will winter affect COVID-19 transmission? What will be the impact of Coronavirus in the winter season? What precautions should be taken against COVID-19 during winter? Is COVID-19 a winter virus? Dr Rajesh Bhardwaj, a senior ENT specialist, answers these questions for us. He also explains the causes of faster transmission during winter.

Video Breakdown:

0:24 Causes of faster transmission during winter

1:15 Is COVID-19 a winter virus

1:27 Precautions against COVID-19 during winter

#coronaandwinter #covid19inwinter #coronaprecautions

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Video Transcript:
Respiratory viruses are winter viruses, they are seasonal viruses and they transmit faster cold
and dry climates. There is a fear that with winter around the corner, the Coronavirus may spread
faster and wider.
Causes of faster transmission during winter
One of the main reasons is the lack of humidity. As the weather becomes dry, the virus particles
can transmit to a longer distance because of the dry air. The second reason is all of us move
indoors because of the winters. All events and gatherings happen indoors and so the chance of
spreading infection from one person to another is greater in the winter months. Another factor is
because of low sunlight, there is inadequate exposure to the sun which reduces the body’s
capacity to manufacture Vitamin D. As air pollution levels rise, it reduces the body’s immunity
and it is also possible for the coronavirus to transmit through PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles, and
infect adults and children.
Is COVID-19 a winter virus?
It is not clearly known whether the coronavirus is in fact a winter virus or a seasonal virus. As
we have seen, it has continued to transmit in all kinds of weather in all parts of the world.
Precautions to follow in winter
The important thing at the moment is to continue to wear a mask in public places, to go out only
when necessary, to come back home and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It is
also necessary to use hand sanitizer frequently when you are out in public spaces, especially
when you touch door knobs and handles which could be infected by use from others.

CDC abruptly reverses guidance on COVID-19 airborne transmission

The Centers for Disease Control took an unusual step by reversing its new guidance about how the coronavirus spreads. Mola Lenghi has the latest.

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Coronavirus in numbers: UK Covid-19 deaths up by 521 as cases continue to drop

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The UK has recorded just over 16,000 new coronavirus cases overnight – a drop of more than 1,000 on yesterday’s figure.

The Government confirmed another 16,022 postitive cases over the past 24 hours, compared to 17,555 on Thursday.

It marks a steady decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections reported across the country.

The total number of cases recorded over the past week is 38,936 fewer than over the previous seven days – a fall of 25 per cent.



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