December 7, 2022

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After 20 minutes in the air, the virus loses 90% of its ability to infect

Posted on 01/17/2022 19:29 / Updated on 01/17/2022 19:30

(Credit: Yeti Dotted/Disclosure)

Research by the Aerosol Research Center at the University of Bristol, England may have identified a lower decline Corona virus infection 20 minutes after contact with air. For the researchers, the findings reaffirm the need for masks and social distancing.

the study It mimics the behavior of the virus after expiration and through this analysis the researchers determined that within just 20 minutes the virus loses 90% of its infectious capacity and that most of this loss occurs in the first five minutes.

As the viral particles leave the lungs – in relatively humid, carbon dioxide-rich conditions – they quickly lose water and dry out. Moreover, the transition to lower levels of carbon dioxide is associated with a rapid rise in pH. These two factors interrupt the virus’s ability to infect human cells, however, the speed with which these particles dry varies with the relative humidity of the surrounding air.

When the humidity was less than 50% (the equivalent of an office, for example) the virus lost about half of the infection in five seconds, after which the decline was slower and more steady, with an additional 19% loss compared to the next five minutes. At 90% humidity (roughly equivalent to a steam room or shower room), the reduction in infection was more gradual, with 52% of particles still infectious after five minutes, decreasing to about 10% after 20 minutes, after which there was no difference between the two conditions .

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However, the researchers point out that air temperature did not make a difference in viral infection, debunking the idea that transmission of the virus is lower at higher temperatures.

“That means if I meet friends for lunch at a bar today, the main thing is [risco] Explains Jonathan Reed, director of the Center for Aerosol Research at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study. Of the findings, the greatest form of protection remains the use of masks and social distancing, according to the researchers.

The research has not been published in any journal and/or scientific journal yet and will be subject to review.