Corona in meat processing plants – air conditioning to blame? Naturopathy Naturopathy Specialist Portal

Transmission over long distances in air-conditioned work areas

According to the Coronavirus mass infections in some meat processing plants is the question of why the industry is so greatly affected was. First of all, the living situation of the employees was suspected, but a recent study shows that, apparently, the air conditioning in the working areas, the decisive factor.

Much has been speculated about the causes of the mass infections in employees of the manufacturer, Tönnies, and in particular the abuses in residential situations were massively denounced. While these are generally quite a cause for criticism, however, related to the infections with the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 seems to be the cause somewhere else. The new study makes the air conditioning work areas of responsibility.

Transmission paths reconstructed

Researchers from the Helmholtz centre for infection research (HZI), University hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI) have been investigated in a recent study, the Coronavirus outbreak in the case of Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, and the transmission paths are reconstructed.

Transmission mainly in the cutting area

“On the basis of a single employee, the Virus was transmitted to several people in a radius of more than eight meters,” reported the HZI the results of the investigation. The Transfer took place also mainly in the cutting area for cattle district, where the air is constantly circulated and ten degrees Celsius is cooled. Under these conditions, a Transmission of the pathogens is significantly higher distances appears to be possible. The living situation of the workers have played in the studied Phase of the outbreak, however, no essential role.

“Our results indicate that the conditions of the cutting operation, so the low temperature, low fresh air supply and a constant air circulation through the air-conditioning in the hall, together with a strenuous physical work – contributed to the aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2-particles over greater distances,” says Professor Adam Grundhoff, co-author of the study and head of the research group at HPI.

Explanation for the increased number of infections

According to Professor Grundhoff, it is very likely that the aforementioned factors play in General, plants play a decisive role in the world’s occurring outbreaks in meat or fish processing. Here, a distance of 1.5 to 3 meters was apparently not sufficient to prevent Transmission.

What areas of life are affected?

“Our study sheds light on SARS-CoV-2 infections in a work area in which various factors converge to enable a Transmission over relatively long distances,” adds Professor Melanie Brinkmann of Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany and research group leader at the HZI. It was now the important question of the conditions under which the transmission events over longer distances in other areas of life can occur.

It was noticeable in the current study, in addition, that the analysis of the virus sequences showed a matching, previously unknown combination of eight mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 in the case of all positively tested persons. (fp)

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