Researchers from the University of Cape Town in Johannesburg presented the study at the 52nd Union World Conference on Lung Health, being held online between October 19-22. In their research, they discovered that Much like Covid-19, tuberculosis (TB) is also spread primarily by inhalation of virus-laden aerosols more than coughing, as thought so far.
The Cohort team showed that about 90 per cent of TB bacteria released from an infected person may be carried in tiny droplets, called aerosols, that are expelled when a person exhales deeply. The study sounds the recent findings that SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, along with others such as MERS-CoV, influenza, measles, and the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold all spread via aerosols that can build up in indoor air and linger for hours. "Our model would suggest that, actually, aerosol generation and TB generation can happen independent of symptoms," Ryan Dinkele, a graduate student at the University of Cape Town who presented the results, was quoted as saying by the NYT.
"But if an infected person breathes 22,000 times per day while coughing up to 500 times, then coughing accounts for as little as 7 per cent of the total bacteria emitted by an infected patient," Dinkele said.