A shocking study on the spread of Corona through the air between the floors of the hotel!

An astonishing new case study, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, illustrates how aerosols can spread SARS-CoV-2, describing three cases of infection in a quarantine hotel in Taiwan with the virus potentially spreading through walls and floors in a poorly ventilated building. , according to what was published by New Atlas.

Perhaps the most important shift in thinking about the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began is how viruses spread from one person to another. Back in early 2020, shortly after SARS-CoV-2 debuted, the classic model was these types of viruses spread via respiratory droplets. Hence all the early pandemic messages focused on how to wash or sanitize our hands and stay six feet away from others.

Controversy has been going on for 3 years

But over time, case studies of clusters of infections began to emerge, and it quickly became clear that his SARS-CoV-2 virus could spread through the air over great distances. By 2021, scientists described the evidence of airborne spread as “overwhelming”. But there is still debate, nearly three years later, about the prevalence of aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as well-established models are slow to change.

A new case study, the results of which were published in the Journal of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides some of the strongest evidence to date of the long-range aerosol spread of SARS-CoV-2. The study looks at three cases of COVID-19 dating back to December 2021, in a quarantine hotel in Taiwan.

genomic tests

All three cases tested positive for a PCR test after completing their 10-day quarantine stay. While staying at the hotel, they lived in non-adjacent rooms, with two cases on a higher floor than the third.

Genomic tests linked all three cases together, so it was clear that the infection occurred in the hotel, and it was suspected that the initial case was the result of an infection coming from the United States. Scientists asked the question of how two people get infected from a third person in different rooms and on different floors of the same hotel?

From low to high

The team of researchers set out to study the hotel’s architecture in meticulous detail. It was found that the initial condition room bearing No. 510 has spaces in the walls and ceiling that connect the air flow to other rooms in the building, which in this case are leaks to rooms 503 and 611 on the above floor.

“Cut pipes were found above the ceiling in Room 510, which may have connected to Room 610, and a tunnel remaining above the ceiling that may have connected Room 610 to Room 611,” the researchers explained in the study. “It turns out that there is a tunnel remaining in the same location also in the middle of room 510 and room 511 and another tunnel connected to room 511 and room 503.”

ethanol spray

The researchers suggested that all of these outlets could serve as reasonable routes for air flow between non-adjacent rooms, but to test whether aerosols could move and spread in this way, the researchers conducted a gas tracing experiment, in which they used ethanol as a tracer, and it was released from the condition chamber. primary. Within minutes, traces of ethanol spray were detected in both rooms of the other two cases on the upper floor.

The most reasonable way

The researchers concluded in the study that “the omicron variable is highly transmissible, so the aerosol transmission was [عبر الطوابق المختلفة] Which is the most logical way in this incident after it has been confirmed that the quarantine hotel is poorly ventilated. Indeed, the presence of such leaks and structural defects in this hotel and other quarantine hotels (or any facilities used to keep people in enclosed and separate rooms) creates a unique opportunity for rapid and widespread transmission of omicron transmission between floors and through wall defects.”

Poor ventilation and drainage

The new case study is not the first of its kind to investigate the possibility of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from room to room in a large building. Some previous reports have even examined the transition between the floors of the building, which is likely to occur through the network of sewer pipes. But what this latest case study highlights is the robustness and prevalence of aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, particularly in poorly ventilated apartment buildings.

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