This study will make you think twice about stepping outside for a breath of fresh air. A team of scientists from around the world confirmed millions of viruses rising into the atmosphere, traveling — sometimes for thousands of miles — and falling back down to the surface. The study carried out by researchers from the U.S., Canada, and Spain, is the first of its kind to confirm viruses are being swept up into the free toposphere — the layer of atmosphere between the area where Earth’s weather systems develop — and below the stratosphere, where airplanes fly.
The numbers are “astonishing” the researchers say, but remember, a virus is a tiny particle, little more than a strand of DNA and a mechanism for attaching to organic matter. “Every day, more than 800 million viruses are deposited per square metre above the planetary boundary layer — that’s 25 viruses for each person in Canada,” says the University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle, lead author of the study, in a media release. READ MORE