During the start of the pandemic, many health experts warned of the main sources of contagion of COVID-19 that range from a simple handshake to a greeting that includes a kiss. However, they also point out that someone could contract the virus if they are in a closed space with other people, in places where saliva particles remain in the environment for a while.
That is why they recommend, in addition to always keeping the places with the greatest crowds ventilated, using masks and respecting social distance. Now it has been shown, according to a study shared by La Razón de España, that one of the elements to avoid the contagion of coronavirus is that the humidity is low.
This research conducted by the Bristol University, in the United Kingdom, ensures that depending on the environment in which you find yourself and the temperature of these spaces, the chances of contagion vary.
Thus, in an environment similar to that of an office, with a humidity of around 40% and where ventilation can enter with greater force, the coronavirus loses half its infectivity in just 10 seconds. In contrast, in environments with very high humidity, the survival of the virus-containing particles is greater.
In other words, in a bathroom, where a person has taken a shower and the humidity is around 90%, the particles suspended in the air that are infected with the virus remain in the environment for up to 5 minutes. At 20 minutes, about 10% of the virus is still infectious.
Researchers at the Bristol University came to this conclusion after levitating particles from the coronavirus between two electric rings for five seconds and 20 minutes, using a new system. These tests, they say, became more reliable when comparing the infectivity of the virus in different environments and climatic conditions.
“Inside the lungs, the atmosphere is warm, humid and rich in carbon dioxide, unlike the air environment”, they assure. In the case of low humidity levels, the droplets infected with COVID-19 they dried up quickly and virus transmission dropped dramatically.
“People have focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission through subways or through a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re around someone ”, says Jonathan Reid, director of the Bristol Aerosol Research Center and lead author of the study.
“When you walk away, not only is the spray diluted, but there is also less infectious virus because the virus has lost infectivity as a result of the passage of time”, added.
“If I meet friends for lunch in a pub, the main risk is likely to be that I pass it on to my friends, or my friends pass it on to me, rather than someone across the room from us. transmit it ”, ended.
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