Understanding and containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment

On 11.6.2020 Dr. Leena Maunula and Dr. Nina Atanasova gave a speech on topic of "Understanding and containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment" as a part of online event "Fighting the pandemic - COVID-19 research at the University of Helsinki" organized by HiLIFE.

Leena Maunula is a senior scientist, university lecturer, docent in Food and Environmental Virology at the University of Helsinki. Dr. Maunula leads a group of food and environmental virology at the Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She is a microbiologist with over 30 year-expertise in virology research including virus diagnostics. Her group is striving to understand how pathogenic viruses like SARS-CoV-2 spread through food, water and environment.

Nina Atanasova is an environmental microbiologist, working both at the University of Helsinki, as a visiting scientist, and at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, as a senior scientist at the Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling group (https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/atmos...). She is also an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher and docent in Microbiology. Her current research focuses on the viability and infectivity of atmospheric microorganisms, particularly the detection of viruses from air samples. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Atanasova’s work has focused on gaining more information about the droplet transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

In their talk, Dr. Maunula and Dr. Atanasova describe how their are investigating the survival of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses on surfaces, water/sewage, and in the air. Their multidisciplinary research will help us to reduce the spread of SARS-COV-2 in the environment.

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