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Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 04 23; 17(8)IJ

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the shutdown of entire nations all over the world. In addition to mobility restrictions of people, the World Health Organization and the Governments have prescribed maintaining an inter-personal distance of 1.5 or 2 m (about 6 feet) from each other in order to minimize the risk of contagion through the droplets that we usually disseminate around us from nose and mouth. However, recently published studies support the hypothesis of virus transmission over a distance of 2 m from an infected person. Researchers have proved the higher aerosol and surface stability of SARS-COV-2 as compared with SARS-COV-1 (with the virus remaining viable and infectious in aerosol for hours) and that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV can occur besides close-distance contacts. Indeed, there is reasonable evidence about the possibility of SARS-COV-2 airborne transmission due to its persistence into aerosol droplets in a viable and infectious form. Based on the available knowledge and epidemiological observations, it is plausible that small particles containing the virus may diffuse in indoor environments covering distances up to 10 m from the emission sources, thus representing a kind of aerosol transmission. On-field studies carried out inside Wuhan Hospitals showed the presence of SARS-COV-2 RNA in air samples collected in the hospitals and also in the surroundings, leading to the conclusion that the airborne route has to be considered an important pathway for viral diffusion. Similar findings are reported in analyses concerning air samples collected at the Nebraska University Hospital. On March 16th, we have released a Position Paper emphasizing the airborne route as a possible additional factor for interpreting the anomalous COVID-19 outbreaks in northern Italy, ranked as one of the most polluted areas in Europe and characterized by high particulate matter (PM) concentrations. The available information on the SARS-COV-2 spreading supports the hypothesis of airborne diffusion of infected droplets from person to person at a distance greater than two meters (6 feet). The inter-personal distance of 2 m can be reasonably considered as an effective protection only if everybody wears face masks in daily life activities.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Industrial Chemistry, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy.Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research "Renewable Sources, Environment, Blue Growth, Energy", University of Bologna, 47921 Rimini, Italy.Department of Biology, University "Aldo Moro" of Bari, 70121 Bari, Italy.Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy.Environmental Research Division, TCR TECORA, 20094 Milan, Italy.Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy.Department of Biology, University "Aldo Moro" of Bari, 70121 Bari, Italy.Department of Biology, University "Aldo Moro" of Bari, 70121 Bari, Italy.UNESCO Chair on Health Education and Sustainable Development, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy. Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA), 20149 Milan, Italy.Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA), 20149 Milan, Italy. Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Pub Type(s)

Editorial
Comment

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32340347

Citation

Setti, Leonardo, et al. "Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 8, 2020.
Setti L, Passarini F, De Gennaro G, et al. Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(8).
Setti, L., Passarini, F., De Gennaro, G., Barbieri, P., Perrone, M. G., Borelli, M., Palmisani, J., Di Gilio, A., Piscitelli, P., & Miani, A. (2020). Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082932
Setti L, et al. Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 04 23;17(8) PubMed PMID: 32340347.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19: Why 2 Meters/6 Feet of Inter-Personal Distance Could Not Be Enough. AU - Setti,Leonardo, AU - Passarini,Fabrizio, AU - De Gennaro,Gianluigi, AU - Barbieri,Pierluigi, AU - Perrone,Maria Grazia, AU - Borelli,Massimo, AU - Palmisani,Jolanda, AU - Di Gilio,Alessia, AU - Piscitelli,Prisco, AU - Miani,Alessandro, Y1 - 2020/04/23/ PY - 2020/04/15/received PY - 2020/04/16/accepted PY - 2020/4/29/entrez PY - 2020/4/29/pubmed PY - 2020/5/1/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - airborne transmission KW - droplets KW - persistence KW - social distancing JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 17 IS - 8 N2 - The COVID-19 pandemic caused the shutdown of entire nations all over the world. In addition to mobility restrictions of people, the World Health Organization and the Governments have prescribed maintaining an inter-personal distance of 1.5 or 2 m (about 6 feet) from each other in order to minimize the risk of contagion through the droplets that we usually disseminate around us from nose and mouth. However, recently published studies support the hypothesis of virus transmission over a distance of 2 m from an infected person. Researchers have proved the higher aerosol and surface stability of SARS-COV-2 as compared with SARS-COV-1 (with the virus remaining viable and infectious in aerosol for hours) and that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV can occur besides close-distance contacts. Indeed, there is reasonable evidence about the possibility of SARS-COV-2 airborne transmission due to its persistence into aerosol droplets in a viable and infectious form. Based on the available knowledge and epidemiological observations, it is plausible that small particles containing the virus may diffuse in indoor environments covering distances up to 10 m from the emission sources, thus representing a kind of aerosol transmission. On-field studies carried out inside Wuhan Hospitals showed the presence of SARS-COV-2 RNA in air samples collected in the hospitals and also in the surroundings, leading to the conclusion that the airborne route has to be considered an important pathway for viral diffusion. Similar findings are reported in analyses concerning air samples collected at the Nebraska University Hospital. On March 16th, we have released a Position Paper emphasizing the airborne route as a possible additional factor for interpreting the anomalous COVID-19 outbreaks in northern Italy, ranked as one of the most polluted areas in Europe and characterized by high particulate matter (PM) concentrations. The available information on the SARS-COV-2 spreading supports the hypothesis of airborne diffusion of infected droplets from person to person at a distance greater than two meters (6 feet). The inter-personal distance of 2 m can be reasonably considered as an effective protection only if everybody wears face masks in daily life activities. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32340347/Airborne_Transmission_Route_of_COVID_19:_Why_2_Meters/6_Feet_of_Inter_Personal_Distance_Could_Not_Be_Enough_ L2 - https://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph17082932 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -