Covid-19: Talking without a mask is more riskier than coughing

London - Study finds speaking without face mask for 30 seconds poses greater threat of spreading infection.

By Web Report

Published: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 5:28 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 5:29 PM

Talking to someone in a room without adequate ventilation, without a wearing mask, can pose a greater risk than coughing, finds a new study by scientists of University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

“People are very aware of the risk of a cough, and used to protecting others by coughing into their arm or a tissue. While we cannot really speak into our arms, we can reduce the risk of transmission by wearing a mask to protect both ourselves and others,” lead author Dr Pedro de Oliveira told the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

According to the study, though coughing produces a larger number of droplets, speech releases small droplets which are suspended in the air for an hour.

According to a report in Mail Online, researchers estimate that a room that’s packed with students could have one in five chance of being infected by the lecturer speaking if there is not proper ventilation in the room.

The first few seconds after someone coughs, it carries a greater risk than 30 seconds of speech and anyone standing within two metres of a person with Covid coughing has up to a 50 per cent risk o of being infected, while the risk from someone with Covid talking is by comparison10 per cent within the first few seconds. But half a minute of speech and a half-second cough produce the same amount of exhaled liquid. The difference is that droplets from someone speaking tend to be smaller thus they are more likely to linger in the air longer rather than fall to the ground quickly like larger cough droplets.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that Covid-19 spreads mostly through direct contact with infected people and with infected large respiratory droplets, which measure more than 0.0002 inches in diameter. The hefty droplets fly from a person’s mouth when they cough or sneeze, fall to the ground by the time they’ve traveled only a few feet.

Some scientists argue that droplets can at times travel up to six feet, depending on the force with which it is launched. Evidence also suggest that aerosols may spur transmission more than once thought, and smaller particles can remain suspended in air for longer time, according to a Columbia University expert.

The studies suggest that wearing masks is extremely essential in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.


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