Talking, breathing could spread coronavirus, experts tell White House

Research suggests the new coronavirus can be spread by talking, or even just breathing, experts from the National Academy of Sciences wrote in a letter to the White House, CNN reports.

The letter, penned by Harvey Fineberg, MD, chairman of the academy's standing committee on emerging infectious diseases and 21st century health threats, says that though "specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of the virus from normal breathing."

The letter was a response to a query from Kelvin Droegemeier with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, asking the committee whether the virus can be spread by conversation and droplets produced by sneezes or coughs.

The available research shows that droplets, in the form of a fine spray, generated by talking or possibly just breathing also can spread the virus, the panel responded.

Fine droplets of the coronavirus can linger in the air and potentially infect someone who walks by later, Dr. Fineberg said, according to CNN.

On March 31, Anthony Fauci, MD, told CNN that the White House's coronavirus task force is discussing recommending the broad use of masks.

More articles on infection control:
Is 6 feet apart enough? COVID-19 droplets may travel up to 27 feet, MIT researcher says
Novel coronavirus contaminates patient environment, new evidence shows
Some COVID-19 patients only show digestive symptoms, study finds

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