Someone who had the novel coronavirus infected about two dozen bus passengers even though they weren’t sitting nearby, according to new research, offering new evidence about the virus spreads through the air.
What’s going on?
The bus trip happened in January before face masks became common during the pandemic.
- The passenger was likely the first patient on the bus to have the coronavirus, having received it from people in Wuhan, China, where the spread of the coronavirus began in late 2019, the researchers said, according to CBS News.
The researchers rolled out where each of the passengers sat. In total, 23 of the 68 passengers became sick from the virus, CBS News reports.
- CBS News said: “What is notable is that the sickness infected people in the front and back of the bus, outside the perimeter of three to six feet that authorities and experts say infectious droplets can travel.”
No passenger showed signs of the coronavirus when they got onboard, either.
Why it matters:
The researchers suggest that ventilation is an important factor in how badly the coronavirus spreads.
- “The investigations suggest that, in closed environments with air recirculation, SARS-CoV-2 is a highly transmissible pathogen,” they wrote. “Our finding of potential airborne transmission has important public health significance.”