Simulation Shows How Coronavirus Can Spread From A Cough In A Supermarket

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced their recommendation for wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

After watching this video, we have a better understanding of the importance for wearing a face shield in public.

In a video uploaded to YouTube by scientists at Finland’s Aalto University. researchers in Finland have created an eye-opening video that models how coronavirus could spread from a single cough in a supermarket.

“In the 3D model, a person coughs in a corridor bounded by shelves under representative indoor ventilation airflow conditions,” the video explains. “As a result of coughing, an aerosol cloud travels in the air to the corridor. It takes up to several minutes for the cloud to spread and disperse.”

“Preliminary results indicate that aerosol particles carrying the virus can remain in the air longer than was originally thought, so it is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces,” the researchers explain in a statement. “This also reduces the risk of droplet infection, which remains the main path of transmission for coronavirus.”

In their study, the researchers modeled the airborne movement of aerosol particles smaller than 20 micrometers, noting that the particle size for a dry cough is typically less than 15 micrometers.

“Extremely small particles of this size do not sink on the floor, but instead, move along in the air currents or remain floating in the same place,” they said in the statement.

Experts studied how small airborne aerosol particles are transported in the air when emitted from the respiratory tract when sneezing, coughing or even talking.

“The researchers modeled a scenario where a person coughs in an aisle between shelves, like those found in grocery stores; and taking into consideration the ventilation,” they said in the statement. Each research institution performed its modeling independently but employed the same starting conditions. “In the situation under investigation, the aerosol cloud spreads outside the immediate vicinity of the coughing person and dilutes in the process,” they explained, in the statement. “However, this can take up to several minutes.”

“Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus,” explained Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen in the statement. “These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity.”


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