New discovery: Normal talking leaves coronavirus droplets in the air up to 14 minutes

Researchers discover highly contagious coronavirus on droplets of saliva can stay in the air for up to 14 minutes just from normal talking, confirming CDC findings into a massive outbreak at a choir practice.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report appeared to confirm research findings that coronavirus-tainted droplets launched into the air by speaking can remain active for up to 14 minutes.

In its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC detailed events at a choir practice in which a “superspreader” infected most of the people attending.

The infected choir member passed the highly contagious disease on to 52 others out of the 61 people who attended a choir practice in Mount Vernon, Washington. Two of the choir members subsequently died.

“Transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within 6 feet) during practice and augmented by the act of singing,” the CDC said. “This underscores the importance of physical distancing, including maintaining at least 6 feet between persons, avoiding group gatherings and crowded places, and wearing cloth face coverings in public.”

In a research report published by the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, scientists discovered that small droplets released while people talk had an airborne lifetime of up to 14 minutes with the potential to infect anybody who comes in contact.

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The researchers pointed out that droplets generated by asymptomatic carriers, those who are infected with coronavirus but show no symptoms, are increasingly considered to be a likely mode of disease transmission.

“These observations confirm that there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments,” the researchers said.

In Israel, health authorities in April mandated the wearing of masks in public and at places of work, with those failing to wear a mask risking a fine of up to $1400.