COVID-19 |  A new method allows detecting the transmission of the coronavirus in hospitals

A new method developed by Spanish researchers makes it possible to detect the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 responsible for the COVID-19 in the air of hospitals, where the concentration of the virus may be higher in corridors than in the rooms where patients are admitted.

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It has been verified by researchers from the Institute for Environmental Diagnosis for Water Studies (IDAEA) of the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Son Espases de Mallorca University Hospital, in the Balearic Islands (east).

The methodology they have used has allowed them to verify how the concentration of the virus can be higher in the corridors, because the rooms in which covid patients are admitted have individual ventilation systems, while in the corridors they have only one system every four rooms.

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The results of the study, which has been published in the journal Environmental Research, could be used to review the ventilation systems of hospitals, to improve the quality of their air and to prevent infection in health personnel, the CSIC has reported.

The new methodology consists of place air filters in hallways, rooms and other hospital stays to analyze the genetic material of the virus in a systematic way.

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“These results are important, since many precautions are taken to enter the rooms, but less in the corridors”, The IDAEA-CSIC researcher, Joan Grimalt, first author of the study, has highlighted.

At work, the research team measured the concentration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through an air filtration in different locations of the hospital and its subsequent quantification using the PCR technique.

The results of this research carried out at the Son Espases Hospital (Mallorca) are transferable to other hospitals, since the ventilation systems are generally similar, the CSIC has observed in a press release released today.

“First of all, it would be necessary to monitor the amount of virus RNA in the air in each hospital. If the result is positive, the ventilation system would have to be changed, adapting it to the particularities of each hospital center ”, Grimalt clarified.

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