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COVID-19 transmission up in the air: Study

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Health Desk- 31 Oct 2020: Coronavirus cases are on the rise in different countries again. We have learnt a lot about SARS-CoV-2 and our ability to test for and manage COVID-19 has improved, but ongoing debate remains about how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted.

Respiratory viruses are transmitted in three main ways. First, contact transmission, where someone comes into direct contact with an infected person or touches a surface that has been contaminated. Second, through droplet transmission of both large and small respiratory droplets that contain the virus, which would occur when near an infected person. Third, through airborne transmission of smaller droplets and particles that are suspended in the air over longer distances and time than droplet transmission.

Latest research suggests that this is unlikely to be a major route of transmission as although SARS-CoV-2 can persist for days on inanimate surfaces, attempts to culture the virus from these surfaces were unsuccessful.

As 2021 draws near, people are getting tired of the disruption the pandemic has brought to their lives and their willingness to adhere to strict rules and lockdowns might wane.

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