The new coronavirus appears to linger in the air in crowded spaces or rooms that lack ventilation, researchers found in a study that buttresses the notion that Covid-19 can spread through tiny airborne particles known as aerosols.
At two hospitals in Wuhan, China, researchers found bits of the virus’s genetic material floating in the air of hospital toilets, an indoor space housing large crowds, and rooms where medical staff take off protective gear. The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Research, didn’t seek to establish whether the airborne particles could cause infections.
The question of how readily the new virus can spread through the air has been a matter of debate. The World Health Organization has said the risk is limited to specific circumstances, pointing to an analysis of more than 75,000 cases in China in which no airborne transmission was reported.