Does social distancing work? Coronavirus can travel 8M on droplets, expert suggests
Social distancing and a nationwide lockdown in the UK, means people are only allowed to leave home for very limited reasons. Anyone who leaves home to shop for food or attend to medical emergencies has been told to maintain a distance of 6.5ft (2m) from other people.
The physical distancing aims to reduce the spread of coronavirus on tiny droplets of bodily fluid released when coughing or sneezing.
BACK BRITAIN’S BRAVE NHS HEROES – CLICK HERE NOW
But a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has warned the coronavirus could have a much farther reach than authorities have anticipated.
Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor at MIT, has found exhalations such as sneezes and coughs can release clouds that travel for up to 27ft (8.2m).
The findings could have dire implications for the coronavirus prevention measures employed worldwide.
- Nostradamus 2020: Viral claim Nostradamus predicted COVID-19
Professor Bourouiba told USA Today: “There’s an urgency in revising the guidelines currently being given by the WHO and the CDC on the needs for protective equipment, particularly for the frontline health care workers.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people need to maintain a distance from one another of at least 3ft to 6ft (0.9m to 1.8m).
However, Professor Bourouiba argued tiny droplets of bodily fluid do not magically stop dead once they travel a certain distance.
She said the idea droplets “hit a virtual wall and stop there and after that we are safe” is not based on any evidence she has come across during her years of research.
The expert added it is also not based on “evidence that we have about COVID transmission”.
According to Dr Paul Pottinger, an infectious disease professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, scientists need to examine when exhaled viruses stop being a threat.
He said: “For me, the question is not how far the germs can travel, but how far can they travel before they’re no longer a threat.
Everybody would know it’s true because everybody would be infected
Dr Paul Pottinger, University of Washington School of Medicine
“The smaller the germ particles, the lower the risk that they might infect somebody who would breathe them in or get them stuck in their nose or their mouth.
“The biggest threat—we think—with the coronavirus is actually the larger droplets. Droplets of saliva, snot, spit.
“Droplets that almost look like rain, if you will, when someone sneezes.”
The expert said the droplets are big enough to be affected by gravity.
Is coronavirus punishment for Christian persecution? [INSIGHT]
Coronavirus app could diagnose COVID-19 by your VOICE [INSIGHT]
Was coronavirus prophesied in the Book of Revelation? [ANALYSIS]
- Coronavirus UK: 3,000 reservists called up to fight pandemic
Larger droplets are likely to fall to the ground after about 6ft of travel, which is where the social distancing measure comes from.
Dr Pottinger also challenged Professor Bourouiba’s claims, saying considerably more people would contract COVID-19 if the virus could travel further.
He said: “It takes a certain number of viral particles, we call them ‘virions,’ or individual viruses, it takes a certain number of individual viruses to actually get a foothold inside the body and cause that infection to get going.
“Now, we don’t know exactly what that number is, but it’s probably more than a single virus.
“If you think about it, if this really travelled very efficiently by air, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“Everybody would know it’s true because everybody would be infected.
“If it was a 27ft radius that was a high risk to somebody, this would be a totally different conversation. It’s not.”
According to Public Health England, social distancing measures are “well-established and have been discussed and planned for many years”.
And according to the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), people across the UK have cut contact with other by 73 percent in the first week since the lockdown.
The LSHTM researchers have suggested the distancing will contribute to fewer coronavirus infections in the long run.
Source: Read Full Article