London, Jan 12: Coronavirus’ ability to infect people starts decreasing within five minutes of being airborne and the virus loses about 90 per cent of its infectivity within 20 minutes of being in air, according to a new study.
The yet to be peer-reviewed study is the first to explore how the virus survives in exhaled air, and emphasises the importance of maintaining physical distancing and mask-wearing, the Guardian reported.
Ventilation, though still worthwhile, is likely to have a lesser impact.
“People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over metres or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” Prof Jonathan Reid, director of the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Centre and the study’s lead author, was quoted as saying.
When you move further away, not only is the aerosol diluted down, there’s also less infectious virus because the virus has lost infectivity (as a result of time),” he added.