The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fixed a guideline of 1m distancing in social. It is not adequate to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. The gas cloud from a cough or sneeze helps virus particles travel up to 8 meters in the air. The research is seen in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The current guidelines set by the WHO and CDC are based on outdated models.
What should be the minimum distance to curb COVID 19 spread?
Lydia Bourouiba is an MIT associate professor and a Study author. She says that droplets of all sizes can travel 7-8 meters, carrying the pathogen. But according to her, the current guidelines are based on “arbitrary” assumptions of droplet size. It is “overly simplified”, and limits the effectiveness of the interventions against the deadly pandemic.
#Coronavirus could travel up to 27 feet and stay in the air for hours, according to new research.@MIT Professor Lydia Bourouiba, who studies the dynamics of coughs & sneezes, warns in a Mar. 26th @JAMANetwork paper that the "6 feet" advice is based on outdated 1930's research. pic.twitter.com/olhVl3Hc1K
— Masks For Docs (@MasksForDocs) April 1, 2020
She says the old guidelines assume droplets as one of two categories. It is small or large. It takes a short-range ballistic trajectory when a person coughs or sneezes. But based on new observations, the scientist says, sneezes, and coughs are made of a puff cloud. It carries atmospheric air, transporting within it clusters of droplets of a wide range of sizes.
This puff cloud, with ambient air inside of it, can offer the droplets moisture and warmth. This can prevent it from evaporating into the outer environment.
She has research in the trajectory of coughs and sneezes for years. She added that these droplets settle along the trajectory of a cough or sneeze. It contaminates surfaces, with their residues staying suspended in the air for hours.
Although maintaining an 8-meter distance may not cure COVID-19. But it helps curb the spread of the virus. This is important because if everyone maintains this the world will cure faster.
Stay home and stay safe because self-quarantine is still the best prevention against COVID-19.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.