Recent research indicates that the novel coronavirus may be transmitted via talking and breathing, not just coughs and sneezes. During a White House debriefing, Dr. Harvey Fineberg revealed the findings.
“While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” said Fineberg, who serves as chairman for the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats.
While the findings indicate that COVID-19 may be drastically more contagious than previously believed, a number of factors contribute to potential airborne transmissions. Even though aerosolized droplets may hang in the air long after an infected individual has been present, the duration of time those particles could be transmitted varies depending on air circulation and the number of infected particles expelled by the individual.
“If you generate an aerosol of the virus with no circulation in a room, it’s conceivable that if you walk through later, you could inhale the virus,” Fineberg said. “But if you’re outside, the breeze will likely disperse it.”
The reports come after rumors that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention may soon officially recommend facemasks for Americans in public.
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