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Warning COVID-19 can linger in air for up to one hour

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Coronavirus can survive in the air for more than an hour, a top UK Government scientific adviser has warned.

Coronavirus can survive in the air for more than an hour, a top UK Government scientific adviser has warned.

Professor Wendy Barclay, a virologist on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said COVID-19 could remain active even in tiny particles held in the atmosphere.

Her comments follow warnings from other experts since the start of the pandemic that the virus may be able to exist on ultra-light particles called aerosols, which can float for long periods.

READ MORE: Experts warn urge WHO to recognise airborne germs threat

"What we know is that viruses can be expelled into the air from infected people in very small droplets and sometimes even in droplets that are so small we call them aerosols and these aerosols can remain suspended in the air and can travel some distance away from the person who's breathed them out," Professor Barclay told the BBC.

"We do know that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, can remain viable, can remain infectious, in these very small droplets so that raises the possibility and indeed the likelihood that COVID can be transmitted through these small particles that can travel through the air."

Professor Barclay said laboratory studies showed coronavirus could remain infectious in the air for more than an hour.

She added that to avoid spreading the virus in a room air must be replenished rather than recirculated like some air conditioning systems do.

READ MORE: Face masks not required in Victoria

Last week the World Health Organisation changed its stance on so-called 'aerosol' particles when it acknowledged they could be a path for transmission.

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The WHO said airborne transmission could occur in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated environments.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/health/coronavirus-airborne-particles-survive-one-hour-warns-uk-expert/9e1244c8-21b2-454d-b548-cba93c11d4d5

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