(Dennis Thompson/ HealthDay News) — Face masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among folks trapped in a room with an infected “super spreader,” a new Swiss study claims.
Most infected people with a typical COVID viral load don’t flood the air with coronavirus-infected respiratory droplets, and the risk of catching the virus from them tends to be low, estimates show.
But a severely infected person who’s coughing frequently can fill a poorly ventilated room with as many as 7.4 million copies of the coronavirus for every cubic meter of air, according to researchers Michael Riediker and Dai-Hua Tsai, from the Swiss Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health in Winterthur.
“The implications of these findings for everyday life and the workplace are that individuals may be at risk of infection if they spend more than a few minutes in a small room with a person who is infected with COVID-19 and has a high viral load,” Riediker and Tsai concluded. (…)