The SARS-CoV-2 virus triggers COVID-19 infections, and how it is spread continues to be investigated. Experts believe most infections are acquired through respiratory droplets that are released when a person speaks, sneezes or coughs.
These droplets may land on your face, hands or surrounding surfaces. Experts believe you may become infected by touching a surface where the coronavirus was deposited and then touching your face with that same hand.
In order to develop recommendations that would reasonably protect people, scientists investigated the environments where the virus appeared to spread more rapidly.
In 1 study from the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, scientists found that the rate of infection with COVID-19 rose in interior spaces.
The researchers tracked the number of infected from case reports gathered by the Municipal Health Commissions in 320 municipalities in China. They did not include the Hubei province where the coronavirus reportedly originated.
The data from 4 January to 11 February 2020, included 318 outbreaks which met the criteria of 3 or more cases being involved.
In total, there were 1245 confirmed infections in 120 municipalities. Their results support many of the prior estimates that each infected person would spread the virus to 2 or 3 others. In this study they found 53.8% involved 3 cases and 26.4% involved 4.
What was most interesting was that the highest number of infections were spread in the home (79.9%) followed by a variety of methods of transportation (34%), including planes, trains, buses and cars.
Only 1 outbreak of cases, an infection passed from one individual to at least 3 others was identified from exposure in an outdoor environment. The researchers wrote this “confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.”
Evidence from the Y 1918 Spanish flu pandemic suggests that sun exposure may also reduce symptoms, along with the severity and length of a viral illness. The research shows that high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of acquiring respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly.
As noted by one researcher in the study: “After studying these patients for a year, we found a 40% reduction in acute respiratory illness among those who took higher doses of vitamin D. Vitamin D can improve the immune system’s ability to fight infections because it bolsters the 1st line of defense of the immune system.”
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