Here’s where (and how) you are most likely to contract COVID – new study – archyde

Two years after the pandemic, most of us are fed up. COVID fall rates are higher than ever and hospital stays are again increases rapidly in many countries.

Against this gloomy picture, we long for normality. We’d like to meet friends in a pub or invite them to dinner. We want our troubled business to thrive as it did before the pandemic. We want our children to return to their once-familiar daily lives of face-to-face teaching and extracurricular activities. We’d love to take the bus, sing in a choir, go back to the gym, or dance in a nightclub without fear of contracting COVID.

Which of these activities is safe? And how sure? These were the questions we asked ourselves in our latest research.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, mainly spreads through Flight transmission. So the key to preventing transmission is understanding how airborne particles behavewhich requires knowledge of physics and chemistry.

Air is a liquid made up of invisible, rapidly and randomly moving molecules, so particles in the air will spread over time indoors, such as in a room or on a bus. An infected person can exhale virus-containing particles, and the closer you are to them, the more likely you are to inhale some virus-containing particles. But the longer you two stay in the room, the more the virus spreads. When you’re outdoors, the space is almost infinite so the virus doesn’t build up in the same way. Even so, someone can transmit the virus if you are around them.

Virus particles can be emitted every time an infected person breathesbut especially when breathing deeply (like when exercising) or vocalizing (like speaking or singing). While wear a well-fitting mask Reduced transmission, because the mask blocks the release of viruses, the likelihood of infection from the unmasked infected person sitting quietly in a corner is much lower than the one who comes up to you and starts a heated argument.

All variants of SARS-CoV-2 are alike in the air, but the likelihood of getting COVID depends on the transmittability (or contagiousness) of the variant (Delta was more contagious than previous variants, but Omicron is still more contagious) and how many people are currently infected (the prevalence of the disease). At the time of writing, more than 97% of COVID infections in the UK are omicron and one in 15 people is currently infected (prevalence 6.7%). While Omicron appears to be more transmissible, it also appears to cause less serious illness, especially in people who have been vaccinated.

Risk of contagion

In our study, we quantified how the various influences on transmission change your risk of disease: viral factors (transferability / prevalence), personal factors (hidden / unmasked, movement / sitting, loud / quiet) and air quality factors (indoors) / outdoors , large room / small room, overcrowded / not overcrowded, ventilated / unventilated). To do this, we examined empirical data on how many people became infected during superspreader events, for which key parameters such as room size, room occupancy and ventilation level were well documented, and illustrated the transmission with a mathematical model.

The new diagram, taken from our paper and shown below, gives a percentage chance of infection in different situations.

Risk of infection with COVID.
Author stated

One surefire way to catch COVID is to do a combination of things that will put you in the dark red cells in the table. For example:

  • Gather many people in an enclosed space with poor air quality, e.g. B. in a ventilated gym, night club or school classroom

  • Do something strenuous or ruckus like exercising, singing, or shouting

  • Take off your masks

  • Stay there long.

To avoid contagion with COVID, try to stay in the green or yellow fields in the table. For example:

  • If you need to meet other people, do so outdoors or in a well-ventilated place, or meet in a place with good ventilation and known air quality

  • Keep the number of people to a minimum

  • Spend as little time together as possible

  • Do not shout, sing, or do heavy exercise

  • Wear quality, well-fitting masks from entering to exiting the building.

While the diagram gives an estimated number for each situation, the actual risk depends on the specific parameters, such as how many people are in which room. If you feel like entering your own data for a particular setting and activity, you can use ours COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission Estimator.

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