The Wuhan coronavirus or novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has started to spread in a seafood market in Wuhan China before New Year of 2019 and has since spread to 25 countries and has infected more than 40,000 people. The death toll has surpassed that of the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, and new developments in the virus’s mode of transmission raise alarm worldwide. Image Credit: Remotevfx.com / Shutterstock
A Chinese official has confirmed that aside from the previously known mode of transmission of the deadly virus, it is possible to spread via aerosol transmission, making it more likely to spread at a faster rate.
“Aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which causes infection after inhalation, according to medical experts,” Zeng Qun, deputy head of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, said in a statement during a daily briefing by the municipal government. “As such, we have called on the public to raise their awareness of the prevention and control of the disease caused by family gatherings,” Zend added. Mode of transmission
A pathogen’s mode of transmission refers to the route or method an infectious microorganism is transferred, moved, or carried from one place to another, before reaching a new host. It can be through direct or indirect contact, airborne, droplet, or vector, and common vehicle, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority reports.
Health experts also report that direct transmission is characterized by the transfer of the pathogen through inhalation of air close to a patient who coughs or sneezes. On the other hand, contact transmission happens when an individual touches an object contaminated with droplets containing the virus. The virus can spread if the person touches his nose, mouth, or eyes.
Aerosol transmission of airborne mode refers to situations where droplets nuclei, which are residue from evaporated droplets or dust particles that contain pathogens or disease-causing microorganisms are suspended in the air for long periods. The microorganisms can survive in the air and outside the body until another host inhales it.
If the coronavirus can be transmitted via aerosols, the rate of infection is faster, and the spread is harder to contain. Related Stories
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