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Friday, November 9, 2018

Virus Transmission – Sharing is Caring

Image from MemeGenerator
This year seems to be particularly bad for colds and other viruses.  We’ve had a couple of different viruses running through our office and I should have stocked up on “Kleenex” based on the amount my son has gone through since heading back to school in September!  I have a virus.  It’s just a cold.  I feel crappy, but I’ll push through it because isn’t that what good moms, wives and employees do?  If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you may recall that I also believe if I can pass my cold on to one other  person I instantly start feeling better.   Anyone want a hug?

The million dollar question is, how did I get it? Who knows, but after reading a recent study looking at fomite-mediated transmission of viruses I’ve come to the conclusion they can come from anywhere and everywhere.  The study looked directly at fomite transmission (direct shedding onto a fomite) and hand-fomite transmission (shedding onto a hand that then touches a fomite) of influenza, rhinovirus and norovirus.  The researchers concluded that both rhinovirus and norovirus direct fomite transmission is definitely a route of transmission whereas influenza did not show the same capability.  The hand-fomite route was shown to be more relevant for rhinovirus and influenza transmission. For norovirus, ability to transmit via the hand-fomite route versus the direct fomite route was dependent upon the amount of norovirus initially shed onto the hands.

Understanding the impact of the route of transmission helps to determine the most effect intervention to implement.  For influenza, increasing the frequency of environmental surface disinfection will help to prevent outbreaks. This is due to the fact that influenza demonstrated the lowest fomite reproductive number.   Conversely, rhinovirus and norovirus are so infectious that a single environmental intervention is unlikely to stop their spread via fomites. 

I guess if I want to start feeling better I had best start spreading my germs directly to fomites and of course, stop washing my hands to make sure they have the best chance possible to transmit to every surface I touch because “sharing is caring”!

Bugging Off!


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