A study carried out by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests droplets of spit that can contain infectious particles of Covid-19 can linger in the air for up to 12 minutes after someone speaks in a confined space.
Even someone with no obvious symptoms can seemingly leave a trail of the virus in the air after talking, highlighting the importance of wearing a mask.
As part of the study, cameras recording spit droplets lit up by lasers for 80 minutes, and found they can travel through the air for between eight and 12 minutes.
And the louder someone speaks, the longer they linger. Shouting for 60 seconds can produce at least 1,000 viral particles that stay in the air for eight minutes.
The virus particles ‘are sufficiently small to reach the lower respiratory tract, which is associated with an increased adverse disease outcome,’ the study authors wrote in the Proceedings of the National Association for Science (PNAS).