A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air
By Mariano Zafra and Javier Salas
Breathing, speaking and shouting
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was believed that the large droplets we expel when we cough or sneeze were the main vehicle of transmission. But we now know that shouting and singing in indoor, poorly ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time also increases the risk of contagion.
A bar or restaurant
Coronavirus outbreaks at events, and in establishments such as bars and restaurants, account for an important number of contagions in social settings. What’s more, they are the most explosive: each outbreak in a nightclub infects an average of 27 people, compared to only six during family gatherings.
Schools only account for 6% of coronavirus outbreaks recorded by Spanish health authorities. The dynamics of transmission via aerosols in the classroom change completely depending on whether the infected person – or patient zero – is a student or a teacher.
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