COVID-19 and a Sneeze

How far can human sneeze droplets be ejected?  This was measured by Lydia Bourouiba and written in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2016.  She videoed the human sneeze and measured the emission of a sneeze cloud produced by a healthy person.  The sneeze was produced naturally without the introduction of additives, colourants or contaminants for visualisation.

High-speed video recorded at 1000 frames per second showed the turbulent cloud consisting of hot and moist exhaled air, mucosalivary filaments and drops, and residue from droplet evaporation.

The ejection lasted up to 150 ms and then transitioned into a freely evolving turbulent puff cloud.

The largest droplets rapidly settled within 1 to 2 metres away from the person.  The smaller and evaporating droplets were trapped in the turbulent puff cloud, these remain suspended and over the course of seconds to a few minutes travelled the dimensions of a room and landed up to 6 to 8 metres away. 

Is there a rationale for this 2 metre social distancing?

The London General Practice asks all members of society to wear a face mask when in a confined space or building. 

Face masks definitely help to prevent the spread of disease. 

The London General Practice has kept abreast of all developments with COVID-19 disease.  We are happy to see all patients without acute COVID symptoms in the practice.  We are also happy to undertake home visits.  All consultations which take place have the doctor wearing full PPE and the patient wearing a mask.  We are also happy to undertake video consultations from patients around the world. 

The London General Practice

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