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Covid live: most Europeans could get Omicron by March, says WHO; Sweden reports record rise in cases | World news

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France to announce record 350,000 new infections

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Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect us within five minutes of becoming airborne, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.

The findings re-emphasise the importance of short-range Covid transmission, with physical distancing and mask-wearing likely to be the most effective means of preventing infection. Ventilation, though still worthwhile, is likely to have a lesser impact.

“People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over metres or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still, the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” said Prof Jonathan Reid, director of the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Centre and the study’s lead author.

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