Findings that the CCP Virus, also known as the coronavirus may be transmitted via air are suggested in a new study, released over the weekend.
The results, yet to be confirmed, were undertaken jointly by the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska and others that discovered that genetic material from the virus that is responsible for the CCP Virus, was present in air samples taken from inside and outside confirmed infected patients rooms.
Researchers have said more studies are to be undertaken to determine the risk of transmission via the airborne route.
According to the study, high levels of the virus contamination by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) on commonly used surfaces and in the air of rooms of COVID-19 patients have been detected. This could indicate even for patients with mild symptoms, aerosols of the virus may be a form of transmission, although more research needs to be undertaken.
“Our findings show how important it is for health care workers providing direct care to these patients to take enhanced transmission precautions,” said John Lowe, Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor for interprofessional health security training and education. “That means wearing the proper personal protective equipment, using negative air pressure rooms for these patients whenever possible and being mindful about the method of entering and exiting these rooms.”
These studies are important to help medical staff and those caring for CCP Virus patients, to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves against infection.
“Our team was already taking airborne precautions with the initial patients we cared for,” said James Lawler, M.D., infectious diseases expert and director of the Global Center for Health Security at UNMC.
“This report reinforces our suspicions. It’s why we have maintained COVID patients in rooms equipped with negative airflow and will continue to make efforts to do so—even with an increase in the number of patients. Our health care workers providing care will be equipped with the appropriate level of personal protective equipment. Obviously, more research is required to be able to characterize environmental risk.”
The research concluded, “These findings indicate that disease might be spread through both direct (droplet and person-to-person) as well as indirect contact (contaminated objects and airborne transmission) and suggests airborne isolation precautions could be appropriate.”