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Scientists release images of coronavirus infected cells; support mask use

The team of scientists generated high-powered microscopic images that showed a large number of COVID-19 particles on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread the infection across tissues, and to other people

Scientists release images of coronavirus infected cells; support mask use

(R) The image shows an infected ciliated cell with strands of mucus attached to the cilia tips. (L) shows the structure and density of SARS-CoV-2 virions produced by human airway epithelial cells. (Photo: New England Journal of Medicine).

Scientists have released images that show the number of coronavirus particles produced and released per cell inside the lungs. Researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Children's Research Institute captured these images to illustrate the seriousness of coronavirus infection via airways.

The team of scientists generated high-powered microscopic images that showed a large number of COVID-19 particles on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread the infection across tissues, and to other people.

During this research, scientists inoculated SARS-CoV-2 into human bronchial epithelial cells of the lungs. They examined those cells after 96 hours with the help of high-powered scanning electron microscopy.

The images, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were re-colorised, and showed infected hairy ciliated cells with strands of mucus attached to cilia tips. According to scientists, cilia are hair-like structures on the surface of airway epithelial cells that transport mucus and trapped viruses from the lungs.

The researches added that there was high number of virions produced and released per cell inside the human respiratory system.

According to the scientists, the large viral burden is a source for the spread of infection to multiple organs of an infected individual, and likely mediates the high frequency of COVID-19 transmission to others. They said the images make a strong case for the use of masks by infected and uninfected individuals to limit COVID-19 transmission.

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