Can Coronavirus spread just by talking & breathing? America says ‘yes’, Wuhan says ‘maybe’…

A team of researchers in China have cautioned the general public to avoid crowds and wear masks “to reduce the risk of airborne virus exposure.” Source (pic): TTF Files

“In the United States, a prestigious scientific panel told the White House that research indicated the coronavirus could spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but by talking, possibly even just breathing”

Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen

بوليه چوروناۏيروس مربق دڠن برنفس، برچاكڤ؟ اميرك كات ءبوليهء، ووهن كات ءتق ڤستيء…

#TTFCovid19

Experts are unsure.

Evidence from preliminary studies and field reports that the Covid-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 can infect human body cells through aerosols is mixed. 




At the height of the outbreak in Wuhan, Chinese virologist Ke Lan from the University of Wuhan collected aerosol samples in and around hospitals treating people with Covid-19 and at the entrances of two department stores.

In a preprint of a paper, yet to be reviewed, Lan and his colleagues reported that they found viral RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in a number of locations, including the department stores.

Elsewhere, in the United States, a prestigious scientific panel told the White House that research indicated the coronavirus could spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but by talking, possibly even just breathing.

“While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” wrote Dr. Harvey Fineberg in a letter quoted by the CNN.

Fineberg is the chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats.

According to him, his letter was sent in response to a query from Kelvin Droegemeier with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.

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“This letter responds to your question concerning the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread by conversation, in addition to sneeze/cough-induced droplets. 

“Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” the letter states.

But Lan’s study wasn’t as ‘assured’ as Fineberg’s letter was and had yet to determine whether the aerosols his team collected at the hospital and department stores were able to infect cells. 

However, in an e-mail to Nature, Lan claimed his team’s research demonstrates that “during breathing or talking, SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission might occur and impact people both near and far from the source.” 

The furthest he went was to caution the general public to avoid crowds and wear masks “to reduce the risk of airborne virus exposure.”

Fineberg, on the other hand, seemed dead sure that aerosolized droplets produced by talking or possibly even by just breathing can also spread the virus.

The above are two of many examples to demonstrate just how divided the research community is worldwide on the ability for the Covid-19 causing Coronavirus to transmit through regular breathing and talking.



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