A new study casts a shadow on the advice of health officials who say the 6-foot social distancing rule will protect us from person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus.
Researchers Talib Dbouk and Dimitris Drivakis found, even a slight breeze of 2.4 miles per hour can cause saliva to travel up to 18 feet in 5 seconds.
According to Fox News, the scientists measured saliva droplets as they traveled through the air under different environmental conditions. They factored into their calculations "relative humidity, turbulent dispersion forces, evaporation conditions and breakup in addition to the droplet-droplet and droplet-air interactions," according to their report published Tuesday in Physics of Fluids.
"The study shows that, when a person coughs, the wind speed in an open space environment significantly influences the distance that airborne disease-carrier droplets can travel, the authors wrote.
This is not the first time the 6-foot guideline has been challenged by scientists. According to USA Today, Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor at MIT, found exhalations cause gaseous clouds that can travel up to 27 feet.
"There's an urgency in revising the guidelines currently being given by the WHO and the CDC on the needs for protective equipment, particularly for the frontline healthcare workers," she told USA Today.
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