Germs spread quickly on food, utensils, platters, and even on the faces of the people involved.
An interesting experiment conducted in Japan by NHK, a public broadcasting organization, shows the world just exactly how quickly viruses like COVID-19 can spread in public places.
The said video, which has since gone viral online, clearly demonstrated how even just one infected person can affect an entire establishment.
The person’s hands contained a fluorescent substance that is only visible under black light. This substance represents germs that come from sneezes or coughs.
The restaurant had a buffet setup and the participants were shown going around as people normally would in such a setting.
The end of video shows the participants being put under black lights, which showed where the “infection” has spread.
According to John Nicholls, a clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University:
“What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently and I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease.”
He clarified, however, that the scenario is “artificial” because there was so much liquid on the “infected” person’s hands that the amount of germs in it did not reflect accurately.
Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University, agreed with Nicholls’ observation. Referring to the spread of the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship as an example, he said that the experiment shows the possibility of spread by contact, but “that is not proof of what happened.”
As of this writing, data from John Hopkins University shows that Japan has more than 16,000 cases of COVID-19, with 773 deaths. Worldwide, there are now over 4.9 million cases recorded, with at least 323,000 deaths.
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