Personal Health

Corona outbreak in Tönnies: it can’t be explained by droplet infection

Prof. Brinkmann, you and a team of researchers have a Corona outbreak in the meat cutting plant from Tönnies investigated in the operation, in the later more than 1400 infections were reported. How did it come about?

The world was observed in the meat industry, that there are large outbreaks. We asked ourselves, where the cause lies – because only if you know the cause, you can take the correct measures to prevent infections. To protect the workers, and to prevent, of course, that the infection spread further into the society and it comes to extensive spread. An example of a smaller outbreak of what is happening in the beef deboning area at the company Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, in may, a unique opportunity to investigate the cause in Detail, offered. 20 workers have been infected in this outbreak within a few days, starting with a worker.

What have you learned about the Virus?

We have found that a majority of the clip-on has taken place at the workplace, on the basis of an employee who previously had contact with positive tested employees of West crown/West meat in Dissen. We have him referred to as an index case B1. Furthermore, we were able to show that the residential and transportation conditions have played in the case of Transfers to a subordinate role. Interesting two facts were: All of the positively tested employee of West crown in Dissen worked in the deboning area in which the air to about 10 degrees Celsius is cooled. Exactly the Same we saw now in the case of Tönnies: All positive tested employees have worked in the deboning area for Cattle, and all in the vicinity of B1. And the fact that we were so close to the origin of the infection happening, because a week earlier, all the workers in the deboning area, yet a negative effect on Sars-CoV-2 have been tested, we were able to understand very well that the Virus was transmitted from the index case B1 to the other employees over a distance of about eight meters. This can be explained by a droplet infection – thus, we have concluded that the Transfer must have occurred via aerosols.

Melanie Brinkmann is the Helmholtz-Virologist, Corona expert and Professor at the TU Braunschweig. Currently, she is researching how our immune system responds to infection with the Sars-Coronavirus-2 and how this Virus manages to circumvent the reaction of the immune system sent. As a sternvoice orders the scientist-to-date topics related to the Coronavirus-a – but also beyond. What local outbreaks mean for the infection to happen? What is actually happening in the meat factories? When could there be a vaccine? And as we prepare for the coming Winter, when, in addition to corona virus the influenza viruses are circulating?

How do you explain these infections?

We have looked at the cutting area during operation. We noticed that the workers were all in a range in which the air continuously with relatively little supply of fresh air is circulated, and the temperatures are about 10 degrees Celsius. It is likely that these conditions have facilitated the Transmission via aerosols over long distances. How strong but these individual factors for the Transmission of help, we can’t answer yet.

What has surprised you in the results the most?

Me has actually surprised on what a vast distances of infections are done. The Transmission of Sars-CoV-2 via aerosols has been discussed many times, but for this area of work, for the first time been scientifically proven or demonstrated.

Where could play the knowledge in everyday life a role?

Our work raises many important questions, for example what are the factors that influence Transfers in other enclosed spaces, such as in gyms or Restaurants. Or how high is the proportion of fresh air in a closed room without natural fresh air supply, in order to minimize the risk of Infection.

As the person responsible for Tönnies on the study?

Tönnies has given us the opportunity to investigate the cause of this outbreak open to us on all of our many Demands detailed answers. Tönnies but had not contributed in any way to influence the analysis or Interpretation of the data and has also financially to the study.

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