Evolving into becoming more airborne, a new study conducted by the University of Maryland has published a new study that reveals some more insights into the possible severity of the virus.
Newer variants of the SARS-CoV-2 are now evolving to become more airborne, according to a recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. According to this study from the University of Maryland, people infected with the Alpha strain of COVID-19 are exhaling 43 to 100 times more of the virus into the air compared to those infected with the original COVID-19 strain.
Furthermore, the research found that the viral load in the air from Alpha variant patients was 18-times more than could be explained by the increased amounts of virus in nasal swabs and saliva. Experts also found that face coverings such as surgical masks and cloths, reduce the amount of the virus breathed into the air by about 50%.
“The take-home messages from this paper are that the coronavirus can be in your exhaled breath (and) is getting better at being in your exhaled breath, and using a mask reduces the chance of you breathing it on others,” says Assistant Clinical Professor Jennifer German, a co-author of the study.
The researchers recommend a “layered approach” to protect people in public-facing jobs and indoor spaces — these include vaccinations, tight-fitting masks, improved ventilation, increased filtration, and UV air sanitation.