The six-foot social distancing rule might not make sense unless we wear a mask , a new study published in the journal Physics of Fluids has suggested. Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that a person without a mask and who has COVID-19 can infect other people at that distance even when outdoors.
Studies have shown that masks can be very effective in reducing transmission, especially if used by a person infected with the coronavirus.
To reach their conclusions, the experts used computer models to measure how the droplets exhaled by people spread when they cough. They found that individual coughs vary greatly in terms of the spread of potentially infectious droplets. They found that when a person without a mask coughs, most of the larger droplets land on nearby surfaces; however, the smallest airborne droplets can quickly spread beyond two meters.
“Every time we cough, we can emit a different amount of liquid, so if a person is infected with Covid, they could be emitting many or very few virus particles, and due to the turbulence they spread differently for each cough. ”, Commented Shrey Trivedi, co-author of the work.
The exceptions to the mandatory use of masks apply in all countries for people such as young children and for those whose physical and mental disabilities mean that they cannot easily or safely wear a mask.
Referencia: Trivedi, S., Gkantonas, S., Mesquita, L. C., Iavarone, S., Oliveira, P. M. d., & Mastorakos, E. (2021). Estimates of the stochasticity of droplet dispersion by a cough. Physics of Fluids, 33 (11), 115130-115130. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0070528