Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Studies Suggest Airborne SARS Transmission Is Possible

24.03.2005


Two new studies present evidence that the virus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) may spread through the air, not just through direct contact with contaminated water droplets as previous research had shown.

SARS coronavirus was detected in the air in a patient’s room during the 2003 outbreak in Toronto, according to a new study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Another study, from Hong Kong, shows patients in hospital bays near a SARS patient had a much higher infection rate than patients in distant bays, consistent with the possibility of airborne SARS transmission, according to an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Both articles are published in the journals’ May 1 issues, and are now available online.

The Toronto research was conducted by Timothy F. Booth, PhD and colleagues during the SARS outbreak there in March 2003. Their results mark the first experimental confirmation of the presence of the SARS virus in the air of an infected patient’s hospital room. The authors cautioned that their results do not document any cases of airborne transmission of the SARS virus from one person to another, only the dissemination of the virus from an infected patient to the air, via breathing or coughing.



During the outbreak in Toronto hospitals, health care workers became infected with the virus despite observance of strict infection control precautions. The investigators wondered whether environmental contamination of hospital air or surfaces could explain the ongoing risk of SARS coronavirus transmission to health care workers. To answer this question, they collected patient information and environmental samples from the SARS units of four Toronto hospitals. SARS coronavirus was detected in the air in one of the four rooms tested. The researchers also detected virus in four of 85 surface samples taken from frequently touched surfaces, highlighting the importance of strict adherence to infection control precautions to prevent SARS coronavirus transmission in the health care setting.
In the Hong Kong study, which focused on the 2003 SARS outbreak at the Prince of Wales Hospital, 41 percent of patients admitted to the ward in which the first SARS patient was staying became infected. Proximity to the bed of the first case seemed to be strongly linked with incidence of infection-two-thirds of patients in the same bay and half of patients in an adjacent bay were infected with SARS, while only 18 percent of patients in distant bays were infected. The Hong Kong researchers, led by Ignatius T.S. Yu, MBBS, MPH, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, speculate that the increased risk of infection with closer proximity to the index SARS case suggests airborne transmission. Although they do not have "direct proof" of airborne transmission, according to Dr. Yu, "no other known routes of infectious diseases transmission could adequately explain the spread of the disease in the outbreak, and hence we feel that the evidence is quite strong."

An editorial accompanying the Toronto study, by Tommy Tong, MBBS, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong, emphasized the scientific significance of discovering SARS coronavirus in the air in a patient’s room. "Although the possibility of airborne dissemination of SARS coronavirus has been controversial," said Dr. Tong, "this important work shows beyond doubt that SARS coronavirus aerosol generation can occur from a patient with SARS." The Hong Kong study provides additional, complementary evidence that the virus may be capable of spreading through the air.

Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>