The coronavirus travels through the air inside the house. But we are still cleaning the surfaces

The coronavirus travels through the air inside the house. But we are still cleaning the surfaces

Hong Kong: At Hong Kong’s deserted airport, cleaning crews spray on luggage trolleys, elevator buttons and check-ins with anti-microbial solutions. In New York City, workers permanently disrupt the surface of buses and subways. Before reopening in November, many pubs in London spent a lot of money on deep cleaning to reopen after the lockdown.
All over the world, workers are cleaning, wiping and sunbathing with an immediate sense of purpose: to fight the corona virus. But scientists are quick to point out that there is no evidence that contaminated surfaces can spread the virus. In crowded locations, such as airports, he says, the virus that is inhaled by infected people and stays in the air is much more dangerous.
Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds – or sanitizer in the absence of soap – is still encouraged to prevent the spread of the virus. But surface shrubs will do little to reduce the risk of the virus, experts say, and health officials say the health department should be urged to focus on improving ventilation and indoor air filtration. ۔
“In my opinion, a lot of time, energy and money is being wasted on surface disinfection and, more importantly, diverting attention and resources from preventing air transport,” said Dr. Kevin. P. Fenley, who specializes in respiratory infections in the United States. National Institutes of Health.
A false sense of security
Some experts suggest that Hong Kong, a crowded city of 7.5 million inhabitants and a long history of infectious disease outbreaks, is a case study of such operative surface hygiene that informs the general public about the corona virus. Gives the wrong impression of
The Hong Kong Airport Authority has used a phone booth-like “full body disinfection channel” to entertain airport staff members in quarantine areas. According to the airport, the booth is the first of its kind in the world and is being used only for trials on its staff – part of every effort to make the facility a “safe environment for all customers”.
Such exhibitions can reassure the public as they show that local officials are taking the fight to Cove 19. But Shelley Miller, an aerosols specialist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said the booth did not make sense in terms of infection control.
Viruses are excreted through activities that spray breath droplets – talking, breathing, screaming, coughing, singing and sneezing. Miller said disinfectant sprays are often made from toxic chemicals that can significantly affect indoor air quality and human health.
“I don’t understand why anyone would think that delicating the whole human being would reduce the risk of spreading the virus,” he said.
‘Hygiene theater’
A variety of respiratory illnesses, including respiratory and influenza infections, are caused by germs that can spread from contaminated surfaces. So when the coronavirus outbreak was discovered in Chinese territory last winter, it seemed logical to assume that these so-called fomites were the main source of the spread of the disease.
The study soon found that the virus survived for three days on some surfaces, including plastic and steel. (Subsequent studies have shown that most of these are feared to be dead pieces of the virus that are not contagious.) Spreading by air is a concern only when healthcare workers are busy, he said. Some medical procedures that produce aerosols.
But scientific evidence is growing that the virus can stand for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people while they are breathing.
In July, an article in the Lancet medical journal argued that some scientists had studied the coronavirus virus from surfaces without considering evidence from a study of related cousins, including the driver of the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, SARS-Covey. The risk of infection was exaggerated.
“This is very strong evidence that, at least for the original SARS virus, most minimal fumite transfusions were very minor,” said Emmanuel Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers University, author of the article, in an email. Referring to the new Corona virus, he added: “There is no reason to expect that the closest relative of the SARS in such an experiment would behave significantly differently.
Just days after Goldman’s Lancet article was published, more than 200 scientists called on the WHO to recognize that coronaviruses can spread through the air in any indoor environment. Faced with tremendous public pressure on the issue, the agency acknowledged that indoor aerosol transmissions could spread the epidemic to poorly ventilated indoor spaces such as hostels, nightclubs, offices and places of worship.
As of October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has maintained since May that levels are “not the primary means of spreading the virus,” were saying that the transmission of infectious respiratory droplets was “principal.” The mode through which he does it.
But by then, serious talk about touching anything from handrails to grocery bags was over. Coved’s ability to clean surfaces as a precaution – the “hygiene theater”, as the Atlantic magazine called it – was already in deep disarray.
“My tennis partner and I stopped shaking hands at the end of the match – but, since I touched the tennis balls he touched, what’s the point?” Geoff Dyer wrote in a March article for The New York Magazine that caught the germs.
Don’t touch it
From Nairobi to Milan to Seoul, clean people in the Hazmut suit have caused a stir in public areas despite warnings from the WHO that the chemical could do more harm than good.
In Hong Kong, where 299 people died during the stork epidemic, lift buttons are often covered in plastic that is cleaned several times a day. In some office buildings and subways, escalator handles were cleaned as staff climbed and passengers climbed. Cleaners have exploded in public places with anti-microbial coatings and added a fleet of robots to clean surfaces in subway cars.
Numerous Hong Kong-based scientists have insisted that deep hygiene can do no harm, and have backed the government’s emphasis on strict social distance rules and its monthly long universal veil.
Procter & Gamble said sales of its personal hygiene products grew more than 30 percent in the quarter ended September, with double-digit growth in every region of the world, including 20 percent in China. Percentage.
What will happen to the wind?
Hong Kong’s Code 19 burden – more than 5,400 confirmed incidents and 108 deaths – is relatively low for any city. Yet some experts say it is slow to deal with the dangers of indoor aerosol transmission.
Initially, authorities needed to split Hong Kong restaurants between tables. This is the same kind of flawless and basically useless protection that was used in the US Vice Presidential debate in October.
But as Hong Kong authorities have gradually eased the ban on indoor parties, which also allow weddings of up to 50 people, there is a risk of new outbreaks inside the home.
Some experts say they are particularly concerned that drops of the corona virus could spread through air vents in offices, which are crowded because the city has not yet developed a strong culture of remote work.
Yong Qinglin, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said, “People are taking off their masks for lunch or when they return to their cubicle because they assume their cubicle Is a private place. ”
“But remember: the air you breathe is basically collective.”

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