The virus it is evolving (for the worse for us) by improving its diffusion in the air. This is stated by researchers from the University of Maryland who through a study discovered how people who became infected with the Alpha variant (better known as the English variant) which triggered the devastating second wave in Great Britain before widening their meshes in the rest of Europe, they were able to “expel” up to 100 times more viruses into the air than the original Wuhan strain. And consequently, although not yet officially demonstrated, the Delta variant seems to be able to transmit it even more volecemente.
Variants improve the spread of the virus in the air: the study
The lead author of the study, Dr. Fr Milton said the results indicate that the variants “continue to improve the spread of the virus in the air.” The research, which was based on monitoring the air exhaled by infected volunteers inside a machine, also showed that surgical and cloth masks are able to halve the amount of virus exhaled by an infected person.
The Alpha variant study
Experts currently have focused on the Alpha variant strain, which emerged in Kent last fall and became dominant in the UK in January and the US in March. This is because at the time of the research it was the prevailing variant. The Delta variant, which was first spotted in India last October, quickly overtook the Alpha and spread to Britain and America by July.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, looked at 49 people infected with Alpha variant and previous strains of the virus – asymptomatic or with mild symptoms – between May 2020 and April 2021. Participants breathed in a car for 30 minutes without put on the mask and 30 minutes with the mask.
The experiment on volunteers inside a car
Volunteers were asked to repeat the alphabet and chant “happy birthday” three times during the experiment. Researchers found that the amount of virus exhaled by infected people ranged from 43 to 100 times higher than previous strains. Also considering a higher viral load present in the Alpha variant compared to the previous ones, the researchers concluded that the levels of viruses circulating in the air were 18 times higher than in previous versions of Covid. Wearing the mask the presence dropped by 48%.
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