May 14 2020
Scientists have discovered that the Covid-19 virus could likely be spread when someone infected talked to another person.
A team of researchers at the United States’ National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) found that microdroplets generated by speech can remain suspended in the air in an enclosed space for more than ten minutes, underscoring their likely role in spreading the virus.
During the team’s research, a person was placed in a compartment and told to loudly repeat the phrase “Stay healthy” for 25 seconds.
A laser was then projected into the compartment to illuminate droplets, allowing them to be seen and counted. It was discovered that they stayed in the air for an average of 12 minutes.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) yesterday.
Taking into account the known concentration of coronavirus in saliva, the study estimated that each minute of loudly speaking can generate more than 1,000 virus-containing droplets capable of remaining airborne for eight minutes or more in a closed space.
The discovery was hoped to give further encouragement on the wearing of mask and explain the rapid spread of Covid-19.