In India the infection is gradually picking up and in many states people fail to follow the guidelines. The recent mass gathering of Muslims in Delhi (March, 2020) despite the government's warning is a cause for concerns among Indians. Recently, in south Tamil Nadu, though the state is under lock down till 14th April, several hundred people, including youths gathered in a mosque and were forced by the police to disperse them. A section of the people have not yet understood the savagery of this dangerous virus and its impact on the society as whole.
With no cure in sight, social distancing is the only option we have to avoid pushing ourselves into a precarious position in the next few weeks from which redemption is difficult. Regarding corona infection, yet another important fact that we may not be aware of is our speech also plays a key role in spreading infection among people in close physical contact. Please read the article below:
According to aerosol scientists, social-distancing has an added advantage in controlling infection. They are of the view that normal speech by individuals who are asymptomatic but infected with coronavirus may produce enough aerosolized particles to transmit the infection. Though the link between the spread of virus and normal speech is not scientifically proven, it is imperative to emphasis strict social distancing measures for virologists, epidemiologists and engineers who study aerosols and droplets to work together on this and other respiratory diseases.
William Ristenpart, professor of chemical engineering at UC, Davis, USA says ordinary speech creates significant quantities of aerosols from respiratory particles as you may be aware aerosols are particles small enough to travel through the air. These respiratory particles too small to see with the naked eye - about one micron, or one micrometer, in diameter; but, are large enough to carry viruses such as influenza or SARS-CoV-2.
Last year, Ristenpart, his graduate student and colleagues published a paper in which they mentioned that 'the louder one speaks, the more particles are emitted and that some individuals are "superemitters" who give off up to 10 times as many particles as others', depending on the nature of their voice and its modulation. In a follow-up study published in January last year in PLOS One, they went deeper and investigated which 'speech sounds are associated with the most particles'.
Calculating just how easily a virus like SARS-CoV-2 spreads through droplets is a difficult one and it needs knowledge of other related fields. Virologists need to know how many viruses are present in the lung fluid and how many of them form into droplets and how many viruses are needed to form an infection. Aerosol scientists can study the travel mechanism of such droplets once they are out of our body. They need to know how far once expelled, the droplets travel, how they are affected by air motion in a room and how fast they settle out due to gravity.
Ristenpart and colleagues conclude. "The aerosol science community needs to step up and tackle the current challenge presented by COVID-19, and also help better prepare us for inevitable future pandemics,"
An aerosol (abbreviation of "aero-solution") is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or another gas. Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Natural aerosols are fog, mist, dust, forest exudates and geyser steam. Anthropogenic aerosols are particulate air pollutants and smoke. The liquid or solid particles
|Mist and clouds are natural aerosols commons.wikimedia.org|
(April 03, 2020 from Materials provided by University of California - Davis. Original written by Andy Fell)