A preview of a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the CDC, for short – released last night offers some distressing news for health-care workers, as well as their families, partners and friends: New research suggests that nurses, doctors and others can track the virus out of the ward and into another – perhaps a more public, or less well-protected – environment, helping to spread the disease in a new way that public health officials haven’t really considered.
The study, entitled “Aerosol and Surface Distribution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospital Wards, Wuhan, China, 2020”, was conducted in two wards at Wuhan’s Huoshenshan Hospital by large team of Chinese researchers back in February and March. Though the team insisted that “respiratory droplets and close contact” remain the primary vectors for the disease, the possibility for hospital workers to transmit the virus on their shoes and clothes wasn’t really well understood, until now.
And unfortunately, if the data are confirmed, it would suggest that wards where coronavirus patients are treated are literally crawling with the virus, placing these health-care workers at extremely high risk for infection.
According to the research, “94% of swabs taken from the ICU floor and 100% of swabs taken from one of the general wards used to treat patients with severe symptoms tested positive for coronavirus.”