Airborne Transmission Cannot Cause Swine Flu
The Centers for Disease Control found that by July of 2009 there were around 134,000 cases of confirmed Swine Flu worldwide and approximately 816 confirmed deaths related to this horrible disease. The mode of transmission of the virus responsible for Swine Flu was once thought to involve droplet transmission. This is where someone with the virus coughs or sneezes and another person inhales these droplets. Knowing about this mode of transmission is an important factor in its prevention. According to some experts, airborne transmission does not cause Swine Flu. To date there is little research available concerning airborne transmission of the Swine Flu, however.
Valuable research regarding airborne transmission was conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. The researchers found that transmission by droplet through coughs and sneezes was not the culprit. The research began when an outbreak of Swine Flu was reported in a tour group during June of 2009. According to documents, a 40-year-old United States woman was visiting Jiuzhaigou, a popular tourist spot in China, and was said to have carried the virus. There were a total of 31 people in the tour group and 11 of these persons became infected by this woman. The researchers interviewed her co-travelers aboard three different planes. Apparently, those who became infected had conversed with this woman for at least two minutes during their travels. Those who did not talk with her did not become infected. The researchers collected throat swabs of the 31 tour group members to assess for the presence of Swine Flu.
Signs and Symptoms Observed:
|S.No.||Signs / Symptoms||Percentage|
Statistics of the Tour Group Members obtained from the Study:
- Most of the infected persons talked with the infected lady for more than 2 minutes.
- Those who did not talk to the infected lady never became ill.
- The average age of the 11 infected persons was 36 years. It is important to note that they belonged to the age group 18-59 years, highly sensitive to the Swine Flu virus.
- Two (2) infected persons were men and nine (9) infected persons were women.
- All the 11 persons fully recovered after eleven days of illness on average.
Statistics of the Co-Passengers of the Tour Group:
- All of the three planes boarded had high-efficiency particulate air filters.
- These air filters filtered 70% of the air inside the cabin every 30 minutes.
- The other 30% of the air got refreshed by the outside air.
- None of the 178 co-passengers became infected.
- These 178 persons had no interaction with any member of the tour group (the infected women included).
- One co-passenger was found with the virus.
- She sat in close proximity to the infected women and other tour group members.
It was clear from the study that talking to the infected lady was the primary reason behind spreading of the virus. This is because the droplets from her mouth got shared in the process of conversation. It was concluded that sharing air space with a Swine Flu infected person poses no threat to the general population.