University of Maryland researchers analyzed the Alpha variant originating out of the United Kingdom and discovered that carriers breathe out 43 to 100 times more infectious viral aerosols than those infected with the original strain.
On a positive note, study authors say certain face coverings usually cut the amount of exhaled viral particles in half.
"Our latest study provides further evidence of the importance of airborne transmission," says Dr. Don Milton, professor of environmental health at Maryland's School of Public Health (UMD SPH), in a university release. "We know that the Delta variant circulating now is even more contagious than the Alpha variant. Our research indicates that the variants just keep getting better at traveling through the air, so we must provide better ventilation and wear tight-fitting masks, in addition to vaccination, to help stop spread of the virus."