A recent article from the Technical University of Munich published in PNAS reached national newspapers in several countries worldwide. The team showed that aerosol emissions increase exponentially with intense physical exertion, indicating that indoor sporting activities result in higher risk of infectious diseases as COVID. The authors suggested the use of face masks, social distancing and ventilation to prevent viral infections during (vigorous) indoor exercise.
However, the study as presented in the newspaper article does not yet prove a higher risk for viral infections by aerosols emitted by healthy persons during indoor sports. The recommendation wearing face masks during vigorous exercise has not been argued to be safe and effective.
Current available information supports a potential risk of long-term from frequent wearing face masks while there is very low to no beneficial effect in preventing the transmission of a virus. Moreover, based on historical information, the transmission of a respiratory virus by persons without symptoms is questioned.
The way the article is presented in the newspapers may result in even stricter protocols during indoor sports while a possible increased risk for death wearing masks during vigorous exercise cannot be ruled out. Vigorous indoor exercise: larger and more aerosols emitted
In the study well-trained athletes show significantly higher aerosol emissions than untrained persons due to their higher minute ventilation which indirectly means a higher risk for infection. The authors state that SARS-CoV-2 virus and other respiratory viruses are transmitted via respiratory particles while breathing or speaking. Transmission of these viruses will depend in part on the rate with which these particles are emitted.
Based on their results and gyms being a potential risk for super-spreading events , the authors recommend special protective measures in indoor sports. In cases of high community infection rates with a low vaccination rate testing, using plastic shields, proper […]
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