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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21267937


BackgroundThe SARS-CoV-2 pandemic demonstrated the vulnerability of our societies to aerosol transmitted pathogens. With no less than 260mio known cases and > 5mio deaths, SARS-CoV-2 is a global catastrophe leading to human and economic losses unprecedented in recent history. Thus, effective methods to limit the spread of aerosol transmitted pathogens are needed. Universal masking and curfew laws are effective but no permanent solution. MethodsA mass producible LED light source emitting homogeneous parallel UV-C light was used as a "light-barrier" to block the spread of infectious aerosols. In an aerosol test channel, Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria as well as coronavirus were nebulized and inactivation rates were determined. FindingsWith air speeds of 0.1 m s-1 an exposure time of 1 s in the UV-C light is obtained. Reduction in CFU for E. coli was >3log10 and for S. aureus [~]2.8log10. Plug-forming-units of the murine coronavirus (Mouse Hepatitis Virus, MHV) were reduced by about 3log10. InterpretationThe concept of a UV-C light barrier to ward off infectious aerosols if feasible and possible with a light element as described here. Coupled with sensor based activation/deactivation, such a technology could greatly reduce the transmission rates of aerosol transmitted pathogens while not disturbing natural human behaviour. This is an interesting technology allowing a "new normal" in societies after/with SARS-CoV-2.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21256133


BackgroundIn the 2nd year of the Covid-19 pandemic, knowledge about the dynamics of the infection in the general population is still limited. Such information is essential for health planners, as many of those infected show no or only mild symptoms and thus, escape the surveillance system. We therefore aimed to describe the course of the pandemic in the Munich general population living in private households from April 2020 to January 2021. MethodsThe KoCo19 baseline study took place from April to June 2020 including 5313 participants (age 14 years and above). From November 2020 to January 2021, we could again measure SARS-CoV-2 antibody status in 4,433 of the baseline participants (response 83%). Participants were offered a self-sampling kit to take a capillary blood sample (dry blood spot; DBS). Blood was analysed using the Elecsys(R) Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay (Roche). Questionnaire information on socio-demographics and potential risk factors assessed at baseline was available for all participants. In addition, follow-up information on health-risk taking behaviour and number of personal contacts outside the household (N=2768) as well as leisure time activities (N=1263) were collected in summer 2020. ResultsWeighted and adjusted (for specificity and sensitivity) SARS-CoV-2 sero-prevalence at follow-up was 3.6% (95% CI 2.9-4.3%) as compared to 1.8% (95% CI 1.3-3.4%) at baseline. 91% of those tested positive at baseline were also antibody-positive at follow-up. While sero-prevalence increased from early November 2021 to January 2021, no indication of geospatial clustering across the city of Munich was found, although cases clustered within households. Taking baseline result and time to follow-up into account, men and participants in the age group 20-34 years were at the highest risk of sero-positivity. In the sensitivity analyses, differences in health-risk taking behaviour, number of personal contacts and leisure time activities partly explained these differences. ConclusionThe number of citizens in Munich with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was still below 5% during the 2nd wave of the pandemic. Antibodies remained present in the majority of baseline participants. Besides age and sex, potentially confounded by differences in behaviour, no major risk factors could be identified. Non-pharmaceutical public health measures are thus still important.