By now, you have most likely heard about the social distancing guidelines put in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, but now new research has indicated that those distancing measures might have to be extended.
MIT researcher Lydia Bourouiba said in a JAMA article that the current guidelines for battling a respiratory disease were developed back in 1930, and might not hold up today. Bourouiba conducted studies a few years back that examined the effects of what happens when a person sneezes or coughs with respiratory disease, and found that the speed and trajectory of the particles aren't all of the factors at play.
"Recent work has demonstrated that exhalations, sneezes, and coughs not only consist of mucosalivary droplets following short-range semiballistic emission trajectories but, importantly, are primarily made of a multiphase turbulent gas (a puff) cloud that entrains ambient air and traps and carries within it clusters of droplets with a continuum of droplet sizes."
"The locally moist and warm atmosphere within the turbulent gas cloud allows the contained droplets to evade evaporation for much longer than occurs with isolated droplets. Under these conditions, the lifetime of a droplet could be considerably extended by a factor of up to 1000, from a fraction of a second to minutes."
"Given various combinations of an individual patient's physiology and environmental conditions, such as humidity and temperature, the gas cloud and its payload of pathogen-bearing droplets of all sizes can travel 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m)."
These new findings might usher in more work on proper protective equipment for healthcare workers who are battling the disease on the front line. It should also be noted that while droplets in the air have been detected to have coronavirus in them, scientists are still yet to know what kind of impact those droplets have on the overall spreading of the virus.
Just because the virus is airborne and can be detected, doesn't mean those droplets are spreading the disease. But until conclusive research comes back confirming that the droplets aren't impacting the overall spread, it's best to assume that aerosol coronavirus samples are dangerous.
Important Coronavirus COVID-19 Information:
The human body fight: A video has been released showing exactly how the coronavirus kills you, more on that can be found here.
Protection - The Surgeon General has released a video showing you how to make a face covering in just 35 seconds, find out how here.
Coronavirus killing drugs: A drug has been found that can remove any trace of the coronavirus in just 48 hours, read more on that here.
Coronavirus symptoms - An important early warning sign for the coronavirus has been found, discover what it is here.
Prevention: A coronavirus expert has revealed why soap is better at preventing you from contracting the the disease than hand sanitizer, read why here.
Masks: A study has shown that masks aren't an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, here's why.
New symptom: A new coronavirus symptom has been found by doctors, check out what it is here.
Airborne: Scientists have managed to be able to pinpoint just how far the coronavirus can travel in the air, more on that can be read here.
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