How long do the finest particles remain suspended in the air in an enclosed space or on a windy day? 2 meter distance here may not be entirely effective if one walks into another's asymptomatic airspace?




Answered by Dr. Susy Hota, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control, UHN.
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Question:
How long do the finest particles remain suspended in the air in an enclosed space or on a windy day? 2 meter distance here may not be entirely effective if one walks into another's asymptomatic airspace?

Answer:
Yeah so I think the best one is we have is actually more experimental and less a real-life scenario to help us understand how some of the smaller particles that are generated when you have an event that produces aerosols, that's like the really small fine particles that can...

[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 28, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.

Dr. Susy Hota:
Yeah so I think the best one is we have is actually more experimental and less a real-life scenario to help us understand how some of the smaller particles that are generated when you have an event that produces aerosols, that's like the really small fine particles that can potentially travel on air currents or be suspended in air, and in those kinds of experimental settings it looks like particles can last in the air for up to three hours is what we believe. But what does that actually translate to real life is not really clear to me at all. So if you're outdoors on a windy day a short duration exposure to an aerosol or two or some small fine particles is it seems less likely and it's and certainly the epidemiology so looking at what the trends are of infections it doesn't really support that as the main way that people are getting infected or an important way that people are getting infected. I do think what we do have to be more aware of is being in close contact or in more closed spaces with people and how some individuals may not be showing symptoms but might actually be able to transmit the infection and that is probably where some of these cases where we don't know where people picked it up probably originated.

[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 28, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.




Answered by Dr. Susy Hota, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control, UHN.
Click to learn more about UHN or to DONATE NOW

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