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Scientists warn of the danger of transmission of the coronavirus when speaking in closed spaces

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A team of scientists from the Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the United States, and the Perelman Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, warn about the coronavirus infections when speaking in totally enclosed spaces.

When a person sneezes, coughs, or talks, they can produce thousands of drops of oral fluid. These drops can harbor viruses such as influenza, or such as COVID-19, even if the person is totally asymptomatic, which is why it is one of the most common methods of transmission of coronavirus.

According to a new study, carried out by various scientists, a minute of talking in closed spaces could cause a greater number of coronavirus infections, because these thousands of drops of oral fluid that are expelled, can remain in the air for 8 to 14 minutes, especially if it is in closed spaces.

Passengers wearing masks chat in the subway in Russia

Passengers wearing masks chat in the subway in Russia

Coronavirus infections from talking in closed spaces

The COVID-19 pandemic, without a doubt, has caused a radical change in habits in all people, worldwide. Currently there are everyday situations, which a while ago would have been totally unusual, but we carry them out in order to avoid the transmission of coronavirus.

The way how to sneeze, how to cough, wear a mask, and other types of prevention measures, have been adopted. However, there is something that we probably had not realized, and that is precisely what the aforementioned Covid-19 study is talking about.

The study indicates that having a conversation with a person, in a closed space, automatically increases the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 transmission media

This research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and ensures that having a conversation in closed spaces could represent a great danger, since it clearly explains that sneezing and coughing are not the only means of transmission of the coronavirus.

The reason and argument of this study is based on the fact that these small drops that people normally produce, can remain in the site, up to 14 minutes after having expelled them.

Two women in a hair salon

Two women in a hairdresser in France. The mask is necessary to avoid the transmission of coronavirus

Study carried out on drops or particles increases the transmission of coronavirus

In order to reach these types of conclusions, the scientists used the scattering of laser light, in order to examine small particles or droplets, which can easily remain suspended in the air, especially in closed spaces, without any type of natural ventilation. .

The team conducted the research with several people, who were asked to enter a closed site, and later, repeat aloud and for at least 25 seconds, the phrase “stay healthy”, which means “stay healthy.” In this way, they were able to observe the light scattering of the small droplets in the air.

This is how they also managed to obtain quantitative estimates, not only of the number of these particles, but also their size, even when they are floating in the air for several minutes. That is why they alert and communicate concern about the danger suggested by talking in closed spaces.

Scientist in charge

This group of scientists, belonging to the research, is led by Philip Anfinrud, who is also a renowned researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health of the United States, and is the one who has provided all the statements about it.

A woman in a beauty salon without a mask.  Like her, other people do not have the proper protection

A woman in a beauty salon without a mask. Like her, other people do not have the proper protection exposing themselves to coronavirus infections

The role of the smallest particles

Coughs and sneezes generate particles of various sizes. Droplets expelled in this way are defined as large, moist particles, generally greater than 20 microns in size, which can fall near someone and infect them or contaminate exposed surfaces and areas.

These large particles, which are expelled by sneezing and coughing, are the ones that have been studied so far, by thousands of influential scientists Worldwide. However, no one had noticed the smallest ones, which are just as capable of transmitting the virus.

The researchers of this study comment that until now the role of the smallest particles in the spread of the virus, which have less than 30 micrometers in diameter, but can still remain suspended in the air for up to 30 seconds, and infect another person.

Quantitative estimates

The quantitative estimates that have been made regarding the size and number of particles that can remain in the same place have been considered routes of methods of transmission of coronavirus that, until now, were not taken into account.

Based on the disappearance rates of the particles, with the aforementioned high-sensitivity laser, and using various mathematical calculations, they were able to estimate the behavior of all the particles in general, and of course, even more of the small ones.

Their estimates indicate that talking in a normal way with another person, generates an approximate of 2,600 droplets or small particles per second, with an approximate size of 4 micrometers, and although they are quite small, they still contain the virus and can easily transmit it.

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Scientists warn of the danger of transmission of the coronavirus in closed spaces

Scientists warn of the danger of transmission of the coronavirus in closed spaces

Coronavirus transmission methods: Virus loaded particles per minute

In previous estimates, it has been concluded that the saliva of a person infected with coronavirus contains an approximate of 7 million copies of COVID-19 per milliliters, which could indicate, in the same way, that a loud conversation could easily generate more than a thousand drops per minute, loaded with viruses.

That is why both the study carried out and these observations confirm that there is indeed a high probability of coronavirus infections, caused solely and exclusively by a common conversation between two people, particularly if they communicate in any closed space.

For this reason, it is important to apply a new prevention measure against the virus, and that is not to talk with people, in closed spaces such as elevators, or other types of rooms without ventilation.

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