The highly contagious norovirus can be passed between people in healthy amounts of food and water. But a recent study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases found that contagious individuals injected with the virus had to inhale it in order to spread it to others. Further, the report suggests that airborne transmission is almost impossible. “Hospital staff swabbed air vents and then sealed up the vents with thin plastic film,” lead author of the study, Tiffany S. Murphy, an infectious disease expert at UCLA, told The New York Times. “That allows bacteria or viruses to enter an area, but then the outer layer of tissue holding the air in has many layers between it and the mucus layer.”
Moreover, because bacteria and viruses are quarantined by the mucus layer, the viruses have little chance of infecting other infected individuals. The study authors suggest that potentially deadly airborne transmission, which is a particular concern with the norovirus, has been vastly reduced because of the way the virus is defeated in hospital environments.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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