- Maryland University disclosed that the variants of SARS-CoV-2 are ‘getting better’ at transmission through the air
- The reports claimed that people who contracted this disease through the Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 exhaled 43 to 100 times more virus into the air
- To avoid COVID-19, a professor of the university reiterated the need for vaccination, a tight-fitting mask, and better ventilation
The researchers of the University of Maryland disclosed that the variants of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 are evolving to ‘get better’ at transmission through the air. The research released in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases stated that people who contracted this disease through the Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 exhaled 43 to 100 times more virus into the air as compared to those with its original strains.
Referring to the reports, Jianyu Lai one of the leading authors of the finding said that the team was aware of the fact that the virus in saliva and nasal swabs was higher in infections caused by the Alpha variant. “Virus from the nose and mouth might get transmitted by large droplets up close to an infected person. However, we found that the virus in exhaled aerosols is rising further,” Lai added.
The sudden surge in the airborne virus was due to Alpha had taken place when the Delta variant was yet to be discovered. On the other hand, a professor at the university stated that despite the Delta variant is more contagious than Alpha, the variants just keep getting better at traveling through air. To avoid COVID-19, the professor reiterated the need for vaccination, a tight-fitting mask, and better ventilation.
To check the efficacy of face masks, the team measured how much SARS-CoV-2 is breathed into air, and then tested how much less virus is exhaled by Covid-19 patients after putting on a cloth or surgical mask. While face masks were found to have significantly reduced, by around 50 percent, virus-laden particles in the air around the Covid-19 patient, loose-fitting cloth, and surgical masks failed at preventing infectious droplets from going out.