Airborne transmission of the novel COVID-19 is highly virulent, and could be the dominant route for the spread of the virus, according to a study which assessed the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in three major epicentre of the world.
Scientists including Mario J Molina - the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - assessed the transmission pathways of Coronavirus by analysing the trend and mitigation measures used in the three epicentre of the world - the chinese city of Wuhan, Italy and the New York city.
Scientists including from the University of California San Diego in the United States, expressed concern that the WHO for a long time only emphasised the prevention of contact transmission, and largely ignored the the importance of airborne transmission route for the novel COVID-19.
Based on the research, published in the journal PNAS, they said airborne virus transmission, particulary via nascent aerosols, is highly virulent and represents the dominant route for the transmission of the Coronavirus.
According to the findings, the basic diffrence with and without mandated face masks represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scientists said this protective measure significantly reduced the number of Coronavirus infections.
Scientists believe that the airborne transmission route is highly dominant and virulent for the spread of Coronavirus.
Even with normal nasal breathing, inhalation of Coronavirus bearing aerosols results in continuous and deep deposition into the human respiratory tract, and this transmission route of the virus typically requires a low dose, they said.
Newly released aerosols, about the size of a human hair's width, produced from sneezing or coughing of COVID-19 infected people have the potential of containing virus, the study noted.
In the research, the researchers analysed the growing trend in the number of patients and mitigation measures enforced in the chinese city of wuhan, New York and Italy from January 23 to May 9, 2020.
Between these epicentres, researchers said the difference in the trends of number of COVID-19 infected cases is linked to mitigation measures enforcing mandated face masks.
This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of COVID-19 infections, that is, over 66,000 in New York city from April 17 to May 9, and over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9, researchers noted in the study.
According to the scientists, other mitigation measures, such as social distancing implemented in the United States, were insufficient by themselves in protecting the citizen.
Our study suggests that the failure in containing the propagation of Coronavirus all over the world is largely attributed to the unrecognized importance of airborne Coronavirus transmission, the researchers noted.
From their research, they concluded that wearing protective face masks in the public places was highly effective in containing the spread of the Coronavirus.
We conclude that wearing of face masks in public places corresponds to the most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission of the virus, the researchers said.
The inexpensive practice, in conjuction with simultaneous quarantine. social distancing and contact tracing reprsesents the most likely fighting opportunity to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, they added.