Coronavirus ‘could spread through air con on buses’ as one passenger infects 24

Coronavirus could spread through air conditioning units on buses, it has been claimed, after one passenger is thought to have infected 24 others.

In an hour and a half bus journey, Chinese scientists believe one passenger led to 24 cases of Covid-19.

The journey took place in the Zhejiang Province where two dozen passengers tested positive for the virus, reports Mail Online.

According to scientists, the virus transmitted through the air conditioning unit which spread viral droplets to passengers in the bus.

The unit recirculated the same air, rather than new air from outdoors.

In a bid to prevent the spread, such air conditioning units should not be used or should only be used with open windows.

The UK has encouraged the use of newly serviced units in offices, cinemas and other indoor places.

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the outbreak was traced back to a single passenger before China went into lockdown on January 19.

The study revealed passengers who sat further from the patient with coronavirus were just as likely to catch the bug as those sitting near.

It suggests air conditioning played a part in picking up viral particles.

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Authors of the paper wrote: "The investigations suggest that, in closed environments with air recirculation, SARS-CoV-2 is a highly transmissible pathogen.

"Our finding of potential airborne transmission has important public health significance, and future efforts at prevention and control should consider the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19."

Earlier on in the pandemic, researchers looked into 10 Covid-19 cases from three different families who all dined at the same restaurant in Guangzhou, southern China, in late January.

An early-release article for the July edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the journal published by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, found that "strong airflow from the air conditioner could have propagated droplets" between the tables.

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