COVID-19 in our dust may help predict outbreaks
A study done in rooms where COVID-19 patients were isolated shows that the virus’s RNA – part of the genetic material inside a virus – can persist up to a month in dust.
The study did not evaluate whether dust can transmit the virus to humans. It could, however, offer another option for monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks in specific buildings, including nursing homes, offices or schools.
Karen Dannemiller, senior author of the study, has experience studying dust and its relationship to potential hazards like mold and microbes.
The study, published in the journal mSystems, found some of the genetic material at the heart of the virus persists in dust, even though it is likely that the envelope around the virus may break down over time in dust. The envelope – the crown-like spiked sphere that contains the virus’s material – plays an important role in the virus’s transmission to humans.
Release date: 13 April 2021
Source: Ohio State University