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Video Simulates How One Single Cough Can Spread Coronavirus Across A Supermarket

Video Simulates How One Single Cough Can Spread Coronavirus Across A Supermarket

Researchers have created a shocking simulation video that shows how coronavirus-infected droplets can spread across two supermarket aisles, in a bid to emphasise the importance of avoiding busy public indoor spaces:

The scientists from Aalto University in Finland have shared their 3D model showing how aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus can remain in the air for a significant amount of time.

Extremely small airborne aerosol particles that are emitted from the respiratory tract when coughing, sneezing or even talking were examined - these particles can carry things such as coronaviruses.

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The researchers modelled a scenario where a person coughs in an aisle between shelves, like those found in grocery stores, creating a 'cloud'.

They took into consideration things such as ventilation and discovered that this cloud spreads outside the immediate vicinity of the coughing person and dilutes in the process - but this can take up to several minutes.

The initial 'cough'. Credit: YouTube/Aalto University
The initial 'cough'. Credit: YouTube/Aalto University

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

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Jussi Sane, Chief Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, added: "The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends that you stay at home if you are unwell and that you maintain physical distance with everyone.

"The instructions also include coughing into your sleeve or a tissue and taking care of good hand hygiene. These results are an important part of the whole, and they should be compared with the data from real-life epidemic studies."

Avoiding busy indoor areas reduces the risk of droplet infection while in close proximity to others, which, according to current information, is the main cause of coronavirus infection.

The researchers of the consortium modelled the airborne movement of aerosol particles smaller than 20 micrometres. For a dry cough, which is a typical symptom of the current coronavirus, the particle size is typically less than 15 micrometres.

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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.

It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Aalto University

Topics: Science, World News, News, Coronavirus, Health, Finland

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Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]