How long can infected breath vapor the finest particles stay suspended in a confined space like an elevator or even supported and carried by the wind outdoors not everyone wears a mask and how long can these fine particles rest active on clothing?




Answered by Dr. Alon Vaisman, Infection Control Physician, UHN.
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Question:
How long can infected breath vapor the finest particles stay suspended in a confined space like an elevator or even supported and carried by the wind outdoors not everyone wears a mask and how long can these fine particles rest active on clothing?

Answer:
It's a tough question to answer we don't know the we don't know exactly the answer to that in terms of how long it’s suspended air. I think it's important for people to make a distinction between the viruses and infections that are transmitted, what we call through an airborne...

[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 7, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.

Dr. Alon Vaisman:
It's a tough question to answer we don't know the we don't know exactly the answer to that in terms of how long it’s suspended air. I think it's important for people to make a distinction between the viruses and infections that are transmitted, what we call through an airborne route, which is why you see some people wearing what we call it a N95 a respirator which is a very tight seal around the face versus those that are transmitted what we call through a droplet route. So if a person coughs or sneezes who has the virus, that virus will not stay in the air very long. It's hard for me to say how long it'll be but it likely in the range of minutes and not hours and then gravity will pull it down and that's because the virus is transmitted through these larger particles that were they can't stay for very long in the air. So it's likely in the range of minutes. So if you're you know in a space next to somebody if you're able to keep your distance it's not likely that you'll be contaminated or be affected by them coughing or sneezing. It's even less likely if they're simply breathing or talking. We also don't really know how long the virus lasts on an item on an inanimate object like clothing but we suspected somewhere in the range of hours so that just means that we need to be very careful that just to wash our hands when we’re in public so if you're about to eat, if you're about to scratch your nose, if you're about to put on a mask you should be washing your hands and that will take care of the problem of having anything contaminated on your on your on your body for example your clothing it's unlikely that you'll transmit the virus through that way but we do need to be very careful we do need to wash our hands and especially when we're in the public.


[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 7, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.




Answered by Dr. Alon Vaisman, Infection Control Physician, UHN.
Click to learn more about UHN or to DONATE NOW


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