An alarming video from Japan that used a black light demonstrates how quickly the coronavirus can spread aboard a cruise ship or in a restaurant when just one person is infected.
In an experiment conducted by public broadcaster NHK in collaboration with infectious disease experts, 10 people were asked to serve themselves as usual at a buffet, according to Forbes.
Invisible fluorescent paint — visible only under a black light — was applied to the palm of one of the subjects, who was tapped as the “infected” person and coughed into his hand. The paint represented the deadly pathogen.
All the participants were allowed to enjoy the buffet for half an hour.
The diners are seen touching various utensils to grab food as they interact with each other and the “sick” individual in their midst.
At the end of the feasting, the room goes dark and ultraviolet light is emitted to show how the invisible paint spread almost everywhere, including silverware, dishes, glassware, clothes and cellphones.
The participants also had paint on their faces.
John Nicholls, a clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University, said the experiment demonstrates how quickly a virus can spread.
“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,” Nicholls told CNN.
In a separate experiment, the scientists set up the buffet and took measures to protect against disease transmission by separating dishes, replacing tongs frequently and encouraging diners to wash their hands before, during and after the meal.
In that scenario, the paint spread 97 percent less than it did initially and did not end up on any of the other participants’ faces, according to Forbes.
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