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How Important Is Speech in Transmitting Coronavirus?

EurekAlert! Science News Releases

eurekalert.org

Normal speech by individuals who are asymptomatic but infected with coronavirus may produce enough aerosolized particles to transmit the infection, according to aerosol scientists at the University of California, Davis. Although it's not yet known how important this is to the spread of COVID-19, it underscores the need for strict social distancing measures -- and for virologists, epidemiologists and engineers who study aerosols and droplets to work together on this and other respiratory diseases.

Aerosols are particles small enough to travel through the air. Ordinary speech creates significant quantities of aerosols from respiratory particles, said William Ristenpart, professor ...