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SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 are transmitted through the air between ferrets over more than one meter distance

March 25, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019 and caused a pandemic, whereas the closely related SARS-CoV was contained rapidly in 2003. Here, an experimental set-up is used to study transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 through the air between ferrets over more than a meter distance.


Article in Nature 08-03-2021 by:
Jasmin S. Kutter, Dennis de Meulder, Theo M. Bestebroer, Pascal Lexmond, Ard Mulders, Mathilde Richard, Ron A. M. Fouchier & Sander Herfst 

Both viruses cause a robust productive respiratory tract infection resulting in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to two of four indirect recipient ferrets and SARS-CoV to all four. A control pandemic A/H1N1 influenza virus also transmits efficiently. Serological assays confirm all virus transmission events. Although the experiments do not discriminate between transmission via small aerosols, large droplets and fomites, these results demonstrate that SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious while traveling through the air. 

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