Coughs and sneezes stay airborne for longer than believed
A new study has revealed that coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.
The study conducted by MIT researchers have showed that when some coughs or sneezes, there is a gas cloud that is formed, which keeps the potentially infectious droplets aloft over much greater distances.
The study revealed that the smaller droplets that emerge in a cough or sneeze may travel five to 200 times further than they would if those droplets simply moved as groups of unconnected particles.
John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, said that the tendency of these droplets to stay airborne, resuspended by gas clouds, means that ventilation systems may be more prone to transmitting potentially infectious particles than had been suspected.
According to the research, the droplets 100 micrometers in diameter travel five times farther than previously estimated, while droplets 10 micrometers in diameter travel 200 times farther and those less than 50 micrometers in size can frequently remain airborne long enough to reach ceiling ventilation units.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)