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The infamous coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, capable of attacking the respiratory tract, is keeping the world in check. Institutes such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the German government's central disease surveillance body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and numerous other research institutes around the world are analysing the new pathogen COVID-19 to develop effective drugs and a vaccine as soon as possible.
Droplet infection: infection through the air
It is clear that the main route of transmission of these new types of coronaviruses is droplet infection, which is also used to transmit other diseases such as the classic cold, flu, scarlet fever or meningococcal infections. Pathogens, bound in droplets, are thrown into the air from the nasopharynx through sneezing or coughing. Fortunately, infections that are transmitted in "large" and "heavy" droplets (more than 5 µm in diameter) only have a short range of 1 to 2 meters, since these droplets quickly fall to the ground. Other, smaller pathogen droplets remain in the air as aerosols and can thus be suspended over long distances, such as measles or chickenpox.