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Aboard the Diamond Princess, a Case Study in Aerosol Transmission

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The Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked in Yokohama, Japan, in February.

Researchers are beginning to use computer models to clarify how the coronavirus moves through a community, a building, or a small group of people, as well as to determine which modes of transmission should concern us most, and how might we stop them.

Credit: Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Researchers from Harvard University and the Illinois Institute of Technology are using computer models to determine how the coronavirus moves through a community, building, or small group of people, with the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship serving as a case study.

In a new paper which has not yet been peer-reviewed, the researchers add to a growing body of evidence that the virus spreads most readily in microscopic droplets that are light enough to float in the air for several minutes or more.

If confirmed, these findings could have major implications for improving the safety of indoor spaces and the use of personal protective gear.

The researchers ran more than 20,000 simulations of how the virus might have spread through the ship, with about 130 of those simulations reproducing to some extent what happened as the outbreak progressed.

From The New York Times
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