COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is generally understood to be transmitted through thorough two modes: one is through infection by droplets released in the air by sneezes and coughs; the other by infection when one comes into contact with any object that has virus on it.
Other than these two modes of transmission, scientists say there is a ‘third route’ through which the virus infects the population — microdroplets.
Japan’s national broadcasting organisation NHK have put out a video that explains how COVID-19 infects people through this lesser-known mode of virus transfer, which could be one of the reasons why the virus has spread so rapidly across the globe.
President of The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, Kazuhiro Tateda, explains in the video: “It seems transmissions are happening during conversations… and even when people are standing a certain distance apart. These cases cannot be explained by ordinary droplet infection. We think infection comes from micrometre particles.”
Such a transmission is known as ‘micro-droplet’ infection.
In the video, a research team is conducting an experiment to track particles in the air using laser beams and a high sensitivity camera. As soon as a person sneezes, the droplets settle down leaving behind a host of micro-droplets that continue to be in the air, armed with the virus to infect a person.
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