- Droplets can be transported over longer distances by air current: Study
- We've all seen some spit droplets flying when people talk: Researcher
- Most concerning droplets are those of suspended in the air: Study
Washington: Speaking in indoor spaces without wearing a mask poses the greatest risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to others, a study has found. The research, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine on Tuesday (June 8), describes how different sized respiratory droplets emitted while speaking have a range of sizes, and can carry different amounts of virus. According to the researchers of the study, the most concerning droplets are those of intermediate size that remain suspended in the air for minutes.
These droplets can be transported over considerable distances by air currents, they noted. Adriaan Bax, of the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and senior author of the study said,
We’ve all seen some spit droplets flying when people talk but there are thousands more, too small to be seen by the naked eye. When the water evaporates from such speech-generated, potentially virus-rich droplets, they float in the air for minutes, like smoke, thus putting others at risk.
The researchers reviewed many studies on the physical and medical aspects of aerosol droplets in virus transmission that have appeared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They concluded that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is not only the dominant pathway for transmitting COVID-19, but unmasked speech in confined spaces represents the activity that poses the greatest risk to others.
Since eating and drinking often take place indoors and typically involve loud speaking, it should come as no surprise that bars and restaurants have become the epicentre of multiple recent superspreading events, the authors of the study said.
They noted that next to vaccination, mitigation strategies should emphasise the use of face masks when speaking, and ensuring adequate ventilation to flush out long-lived aerosols. According to the researchers, such aerosols might otherwise accumulate in closed environments and enhance the risk of more serious lower respiratory tract infections.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.