Coronavirus Transmission: Talking, Breathing In Public Could Spread Disease

The past days have seen a surge in calls for everyone to wear masks even if they do not have symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. New research shows that the coronavirus could be spread by merely talking or breathing, a potentially alarming revelation that people should take seriously.

Fox 31 News reported how a prestigious panel informed the White House recently that new research shows how the virus can be spread by just talking or just simply breathing. Though the research remains limited, it is consistent with previous studies to aerosolization of the virus through normal breathing, according to Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences.

With calls to wear masks expected to spike, concern on their availability is likely to follow. But for those who are creative enough, there are improvises they can follow such as a bandana or a balaclava, which Fineberg plans to use instead of surgical masks. He believes that these should be best set aside for clinicians to use.

This revelation comes not long after United States President Donald Trump announced that they will soon release nationwide recommendations on wearing face masks, CNN reported. The announcement comes not long after he told Americans that wearing masks were not necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, most are reminded that social distancing should still be practiced for added protection against COVID-19. It was not mentioned when the new guidelines would be out.

Speaking of social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds everyone that the virus spreads from one person to another when they are about within 6-feet of each other. The transmission could be made through droplets produced each time a person coughs or sneezes.

In his letter, Fineberg explains how it may be possible that aerosolized coronavirus droplets can hang in the air and potentially infect someone who walks by later. The length of time that a virus lingers in the air remains unknown and would depend on several factors. That includes how much a potentially infected person puts out when he breathes or talks as well as the amount of air circulation.

"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."

Couple talking and drinking coffee The secret to why a no strings attached relationship will never work lies in what you don’t say. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock