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Sun Jul 5, 2020, 06:21 AM

Asymptomatic Covid Carrier Infected Apt. Neighbor w/o Sharing Space: Bldg. Elevator Buttons Blamed

Last edited Wed Jul 8, 2020, 07:49 PM - Edit history (3)

-"An asymptomatic coronavirus carrier infected an apartment neighbor without sharing the same space. A study blames the building's elevator buttons." By Aylin Woodward, Business Insider, 21 hrs. ago. - Excerpts:

An asymptomatic coronavirus carrier traveled from the US to China in March. Even though she didn't interact with anyone face-to-face, her downstairs neighbor was infected. According to a new study, transmission likely occurred in the elevator, when the neighbor touched the same buttons that the quarantined traveler had. The neighbor was later linked to 70 other coronavirus infections in the local community

Coronavirus particles can live on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel, which are common in elevators, for up to seven days. New research reveals that an elevator can be a coronavirus transmission hotspot, even if an infected person and doesn't ride with anyone else. A woman traveled from the US back to her home in China's Heilongjiang province on March 19. Although she did not have any symptoms, she quarantined in her apartment following her arrival, avoiding any close contact with other apartment-building residents. An antibody test would later reveal she was an asymptomatic coronavirus carrier. Three weeks later, her downstairs neighbor (and four of the neighbor's close contacts) tested positive. The two apartment-building neighbors had not crossed paths. But they had used the same elevator at different times.

According to a new CDC study, the downstairs neighbor "likely became infected by using the elevator in the building" after the asymptomatic carrier had ridden it, the study authors wrote. They think transmission likely occurred when the neighbor touched surfaces and buttons in the elevator. No other residents in the building tested positive, but contact tracing later revealed the neighbor was patient zero of a 71-person cluster in the local community.
- Elevators could be coronavirus-transmission hotspots: The primary concern when it comes to coronavirus and elevators is that nearly all lifts are small, enclosed indoor spaces. Those are the ideal conditions for the coronavirus' spread, since it's expelled in droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Elevators also tend to lack strong airflow, which mean people who have COVID-19 (no matter if they're presymptomatic, asymptomatic, or feeling ill) could leave some virus behind..

The virus' lifespan on different surfaces depends on the surrounding temperature, humidity, type of surface, and other factors. Two studies found that it lasts longest- up to 7 days- on stainless steel and plastic, commonly found in elevators. That means elevator buttons and doors could harbor viral particles for days.
- A 71-person cluster: The downstairs neighbor's infection jump-started a chain reaction in the local community..By mid-April, 70 people were infected. Scientists in China sequenced the genome of virus samples from across the cluster: the samples were nearly identical and the virus genome differed from any other samples previously found circulating in China. It indicated the virus originated abroad. That's how they figured out that the asymptomatic traveler was likely "the origin of infection for this cluster."...

More, https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/an-asymptomatic-coronavirus-carrier-infected-an-apartment-neighbor-without-sharing-the-same-space-a-study-blames-the-building-s-elevator-buttons/ar-BB16kHLE

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Reply Asymptomatic Covid Carrier Infected Apt. Neighbor w/o Sharing Space: Bldg. Elevator Buttons Blamed (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 5 OP
jimlup Jul 5 #1
Grokenstein Jul 5 #3
Lucinda Jul 5 #2
zentrum Jul 5 #4
Igel Jul 5 #5

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 07:46 AM

1. That is useful information

This is why I always wash my hands when returning from outdoors. I use hand sanitizer as soon as getting into the car from a grocery trip.

My primary fitness activity is endurance cycling. I wear a bandanna that goes over mouth and nose whenever I'm near people and I wash my hands as soon as I get home because of the "walk" buttons at street crossings.

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Response to jimlup (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 08:28 AM

3. Absolutely.

Wash the hands, wash the hands, wash the hands. I can't believe this still has to be drilled into some people's skulls. It's not even just about protecting oneself, but breaking the cycle--for example, not spreading the stuff from an elevator button to a pole on a bus/train to a door handle to a table in a breakroom.

I thought I might be a little overly-cautious--I use a key to press buttons and open newspaper racks, and look for unusual spots to grasp doors and gates to close them--but it's turned out to be a good choice. Earlier this year, some unimaginably nasty bastard deliberately hocked a wad of phlegm onto a crosswalk button; while I was waiting I cleaned it up as best one could with a bit of old newspaper I had in my bag, but...yeah. Use a key whenever you can, wash the hands as often as possible, don't touch your face unless you've just washed up. (I do have to use my fingers at security doors at work--fingerprint readers--but they have bottles of sanitizer mounted at every door, which will do until I can wash up.)

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 07:57 AM

2. ...

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 08:34 AM

4. Thanks for posting this.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 09:58 AM

5. The piece that's missing is to show there's no alternative.

There were no other symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers that the "patient zero" came into contact with. Esp. given the timing. The timing could work--but they also don't say when the asymptomatic patient contracted it and how long would have been infectious to ensure that she could have been the source.

Unless they're counting on it being deposited at the end of the asymptomatic's infectious stage, held for days on a surface, and then transferred. Which seems unlikely. Elevators get used.

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