Spreading Information, Not Sickness: Understanding Viral Shedding

As we continue to witness the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent (as well as ever-changing) public safety responses, there’s one word that is entirely inescapable: virus.

While most people are no stranger to sickness, the nature of viral spread, specifically, may still elude some people — particularly as there is often confusion surrounding just how dangerous the coronavirus or the flu can be.

That’s why we’re here to spread a little knowledge on the basics of viral shedding … 

What Is Viral Shedding?

People shed particles regularly. Most of the particles shed by humans are harmless, while other particles can be of concern. Viral shedding is the process by which a virus reproduces in a host body and is then released into the surrounding environment or transmitted to another person. Viral shedding may occur at “high” or “low” rates, which, in essence, determines how “contagious” a viral infection may be.

Additionally, research on viral shedding, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), can not only “provide information about the likelihood of transmission to untreated individuals,” but can also “be used to evaluate measures to prevent transmission.”

Otherwise, understanding a virus’s shedding patterns may help medical professionals and public health officials to understand how certain diseases spread within a population.

How Fast and How Long Does Viral Shedding Occur?

How fast viral shedding occurs depends entirely upon the virus itself.

For example, some viruses — like Lyme Disease — will feature little to no viral shedding at all, meaning it is not contagious from one person to another.

The novel coronavirus, on the other hand, features incredibly high rates of viral shedding, with the highest concentrations occurring either before or during the onset of symptoms. That being said, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has clarified that “recovered persons can continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory specimens for up to three months after illness onset, albeit at concentrations considerably lower than during illness.”

Otherwise, studies show that the rate at which viral shedding occurs may also be dependent upon “patient age, severity of illness, comorbidities, and immune status.”

Combatting the Remnants of Viral Shedding

Unless quarantined, it is unrealistic to successfully prevent viral shedding, but you can focus on the airborne biological loading to decrease the total particles available for viruses to attach themselves to.

Using classrooms as an example, class turnover with students may happen several times throughout the day, increasing the total airborne bio load in a room at any given time because of all the human activity and shedding that occurs. The key is to understand when there are higher counts and use the InstaScope to source track in the classrooms so that HEPA filters can be placed in areas of the room that will be most effective. The goal is to decrease the total amount of particles through filtration and sanitization efforts, all of which can be informed by the InstaScope.

The InstaScope uses state-of-the-art biofluorescent technology to both detect and identify airborne particles, including virus clusters/bacteria, mold, and pollen. By providing disinfection specialists, building managers, and inspection professionals with real-time air quality information, the InstaScope can help optimize one’s ability to ensure a healthier indoor environment.

Are you ready to combat viral shedding or the presence of other hazardous pollutants in your or your clients’ spaces? Then it’s time to turn to the InstaScope! To learn more about the InstaScope and how it can enhance your business model, contact DetectionTek today by calling 720-410-7030 or emailing info@instascope.co.

See it to believe it

Our team will walk you through the sampling process and features of the app so you can see how InstaScope is changing the way service providers do business.

See it to believe it

Our team will walk you through the sampling process and features of the app so you can see how InstaScope is changing the way service providers do business.

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