Not enough evidence to say newspapers transmit virus Doctors

Not enough evidence to say newspapers transmit virus Doctors
Posted 31 Mar 2020 | Source:

Suraksha P Bengalluru,DHNS

Newspapers are an essential service and exempt from the Covid-19 lockdown. But are the morning papers that bring you the essential news putting you at the risk of what the government id shielding you from?
Virologists and infectious diseases experts say there's not enough evidence to answer this question in the affirmative. A new study that went viral when placed on pre-print servers has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine by scientists from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University.
The scientists found that the SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, was delectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic stainless steel.
V Ravi, Head,Department of Virology, Nimhans, said: "SARS-CoV-2 experiments are not out yet. Since it is related to SARD-Cov-1, it will not behave any differently. It has 80% homology to SARS-CoV-1."
Asked if people should continue to buy newspapers, Ravi said: "There need not be any fear among people that you will get it from newspapers but everybody has to follow precautions like washing hand. A presumption that one will get it from newspapers is stretching it beyond limits. That's like assuming every newspaper vendor is infected."
Neha Mishra, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospitals, said:"Surfaces do hold virus, but there is no concrete data on newspapers transmitting the virus."
Swati Rajagopal, Consultant, Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine, Aster CMI Hospital, said:"Neither the WHO nor India's Health Ministry has issued any report in any of their recommendations or advisories to restrict newspapers and milk packets."
Mahesh Kumar, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Narayana Health, said: "No one has been infected by the coronavirus through newspapers or packages with scientific research showing the virus does not survive on porous surfaces."
The varying stability of the coronavirus on different surfaces found that the lowest transmission possibilities were through copper because of its atomic makeup and cardboard because of its porous texture, he added. "The transmission was highest through aerosols and higher through plastic and stainless steel. Newspapers are pretty sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they have been through," Kumar said.
Ravikant Porwal, an infectious disease specialist at Manipal Hospitals, Jaipur, said:"There is no chance of getting infected with the virus through newspapers. They cannot be a major source of infection if you are reading them at home and water or even sanitisers. But if the hawker is asymptomatic or has dropped cough droplets on the paper then there are indirect changes of vector transmission."