The CDC updated its guidance about how you could catch COVID-19, saying the disease can be transmitted by aerosols that hang in the air. That means you’ll want to avoid poorly-ventilated indoor spaces where people are doing the following things—read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
The droplets can really get you when someone sneezes. National Geographic went to a lab at MIT and found scientist Lydia Bourouiba studying sneezes: “Slowed to 2,000 frames per second, video and images from her lab show that a fine mist of mucus and saliva can burst from a person’s mouth at nearly a hundred miles an hour and travel as far as 27 feet.”
“Singing in a room for an extended period of time, in close contact with lots of people and no ventilation—that’s a recipe for disaster,” Shelly Miller, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, told NPR. “In preliminary research published on July 13, Miller and her fellow researchers found that singers, as well as certain wind and brass instrumentalists, generate respiratory aerosols at high rates. In other words, they spew a lot of droplets into the air when they warble or blow.”
Yes, just talking can spread COVID-19. “The act of speaking generates droplets that vary in size. Larger droplets pose less of a risk, since they ‘fall quickly to the ground,’ according to the researchers, but smaller ones can dehydrate and linger in the air, essentially acting like an aerosol,” reports Health.com, relaying a correspondence published in the New England Journal of Medicine, by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania “This ‘expand[s] the spatial extent of emitted infectious particles,’ the authors said.”
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COVID-19 can be spread even when a person just breathes, says the CDC. A study from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine confirmed it: “The study reported that even breathing or talking could possibly release tiny particles (Bioaerosols) carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID 19,” writes author Ramananda Ningthoujam. “The team explained that the virus can stay suspended in the air in the ultrafine mist that is produced when infected people exhale. They recommended wearing masks while going out in public places.”
“To help stop the spread of germs,” says the CDC:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Throw used tissues in the trash
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.”
And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss this essential list of 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.