Viral entry into the eyes and mouth is a possibility: study

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A new study on the transmission of viruses through speech shows a higher risk of becoming infected if a person acts as a passive listener and does not engage in two-way conversation.

Research indicates that two-way conversation significantly reduces aerosol exposure compared to one-way conversation. This is due to the “cancellation” effect produced by the two interacting voice jets.

“Talking is a complex activity…and when people talk, they don’t really know if it can be a way of transmitting the virus,” said Sourabh Diwan, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. .

Aerosol transport by speech

So far, very few studies have examined aerosol transport by speech as a possible mode of asymptomatic transmission, Diwan added.

Whereas most previous studies have only considered the nose as an entry point. The new analysis of speech streams incorporates the possibility of viral entry through the eyes and mouth.

Other factors such as height difference between people engaged in conversation and the amount of aerosol released from their mouths also appear to play a significant role in viral transmission, the statement said.

The research team now plans to focus on simulating speaker voice volume differences and the presence of nearby ventilation sources to see their effect on viral transmission.

They also plan to participate in discussions with public health policymakers and epidemiologists to develop appropriate guidelines. “Whatever precautions we can take as we return to normalcy in our daily interactions with others would go a long way in minimizing the spread of infection,” Diwan said.

The study is published by researchers from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), as well as the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Stockholm, and the International Center for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS ), in Bengaluru. simulations to analyze the movement of speech aerosols. The study is published in the journal Flow.

SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic is known to be transmitted by more than one mode. During the early days of the pandemic, the primary mode of infection was thought to be droplet transmission from a symptomatic infected person, through violent expiratory events such as coughing.

Published on

June 17, 2022

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