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Coronavirus could spread around buildings via air conditioning systems or even on a draught, new analysis has suggested after scientists found traces of the virus in a hospital air duct.

The results from swab analysis of the rooms used by three coronavirus patients indicate that the disease may be more contagious than previously thought.

Even though the patient though to be responsible was suffering only "mild" symptoms, scientists from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore found evidence of the virus in the hospital's air exhaust. This "suggests that small, virus-laden droplets may be displaced by airflows and deposited on equipment such as vents", they said.

With SARS, scientists concluded optimal temperatures of 22 to 25°C and relative humidity of 40 to 50 per cent but a rapid decline in virus survival in temperatures above 38°C and humidity of above 95 per cent.

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