COVID-19: Exposure to one nasal droplet enough for infection

One droplet of COVID-19 is enough to cause an infection.

one droplet of COVID-19 is enough for an infection

People usually develop symptoms quickly after exposure.


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How did they figure this out?

A study was completed using healthy volunteers. They were intentionally exposed to the COVID-19 virus so that that they could be monitored during the course of the infection. Read more about it here.

Typically, within the first two days of exposure symptoms begin to appear. Patients were found to be most infectious five days into the infection.

This study was completed before the emergence of the Alpha, Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants.

Information about asymptomatic transmission was also found during this study.

Of the exposed patients, the ones who became infected had similar viral loads regardless of whether they developed symptoms.

Professor Wendy Barclay, the head of the department of infectious disease at Imperial College London made a comment on this.

She said, ” “a lot of people could be walking around shedding virus and not realizing. It’s really marked with this virus.”


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Not everyone who was exposed got infected

Some of those who did not meet the threshold for being infected also had very low levels of virus detectable in their noses and throats.

This suggests that they may have experienced a very short-lived COVID-19 infection that was seen off by immune activity in the lining of the nose and throat.

The research team is expected to publish their further findings.


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