6 feet may not be enough: wind may carry coronavirus farther

with No Comments
Researchers say droplets containing the new coronavirus can travel as far as 18 feet, even in mild wind. Getty Images

(Brian Krans/ Healthline) — While there’s still much to be understood about COVID-19, a recent batch of research is giving infectious disease experts some new information about the distance the new coronavirus can travel and how long it can linger in the air.

Researchers know the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, namely from droplets that spread as we sneeze, cough, and even talk.

As people all over the world are practicing physical distancing, some recent studies are offering new evidence in the global health community’s response to a pandemic.

In a study published Monday in the journal Physics of Fluids, researchers Talib Dbouk and Dimitris Drikakis with the Defense and Security Research Institute at the University of Nicosia in Greece argue that with even a slight breeze — as little as 2.5 mph — it only takes 5 seconds for those tiny droplets to travel 18 feet.

The researchers used a “computational fluid dynamics simulation,” or software to simulate how fluid travels, to reconstruct how saliva droplets could travel from a coughing person. (…)

read full story