One study suggested that half of the air samples taken from different hospital corridors, ICUs, and one-fifth from bathrooms had high levels of the coronavirus. In fact, the air sampled in the ICUs was found to be more contaminated than in the non-ICUs.
The researchers found that 17% of the air sampled from close patient environments was positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and a quarter of all ICU rooms with Covid-19 patients were contaminated with the virus.
The the study said 82 of the 471 air samples (17.4%) from close patient environments were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, with a significantly higher positivity rate in intensive care unit settings (intensive care unit, 27 [25.2%] vs non-intensive care unit, 39 out of 364 [10.7%].
“Among the 2284 records identified, the positivity rate was 5 of 21 air samples (23.8%) in baths, 20 of 242 (8.3%) in clinical areas, 15 of 122 (12.3%) in staff areas and 14 out of 42 (33.3%) in public areas returned positive, “says the study.
For the study, the researchers searched for articles that dealt with coronavirus and air contamination between January 1 and October 27. Of the 24 studies, 10 were from China, the US, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Iran, the UK and Italy.
Air samples were taken from environments close to patients, in clinical areas away from patients, in staff areas, in toilets and / or bathrooms and 6 in public areas.
“Rate of positivity results in ICU and non-ICU patient settings were highly heterogeneous and appeared superior in ICU when pooling results. In ICU, 7 out of 12 studies found no SARS-CoV-2 While the remaining RNA did, with 37.5% to 100% positive samples, “he said.
However, the study said the patients’ infection severity level was not associated with increased air contamination.