HOUSTON — There's new information on how COVID-19 spreads and it's a lot easier than scientists expected. New research suggests coronavirus can spread through talking and even breathing.
The troubling news was delivered in an overnight letter to the White House from Dr. Harvey Fineberg and the National Academy of Sciences.
The CDC says COVID-19 spreads when people are within six feet of one another through tiny droplets produced by an infected person's coughs or sneezes. Experts now saying talking and something as simple as breathing could transmit the virus too.
In other words, the six foot rule may not cut it.
Research at a Chinese hospital found traces of coronavirus suspended in the air when doctors or nurses took off protective gear.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska noted they found traces of the virus too airborne in a patient's room even they were more than six feet away from the patient.
All this means it's possible aerosolized coronavirus droplets released by talking or even breathing could hang in the air and yes potentially infect a person who walks by later.
How long the virus is in the air can depend how much virus was released by a person breathing or talking and whether or not there's circulation in the air.
All this is pushing the White House Coronavirus Task Force closer to recommending the general public wear masks when not in their homes. Cities like Los Angeles have put that recommendation in place.
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