Coughing in same direction as wind flow can spread virus further
When a person coughs outdoors, wind blowing in the same direction can cause coronavirus particles to spread faster over longer distances than in calm conditions, a report suggests.
Investigations carried out by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay showed that even a light breeze of about 5mph can increase the spread of a cough, extending effective social distancing from 3 to 6 feet to 3.6 to 7.2 feet, depending on the cough strength.
Amit Agrawal, co-author of the report said: “The study is significant in that it points to the increased infection risk that coughing in the same direction as the wind could bring about.
“Based on the results, we recommend wearing masks outdoors, particularly in breezy conditions.”
As the delta variant continues to spread across the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that even the vaccinated wear masks indoors to prevent exposure and transmission of the virus.
Other guidelines, such as coughing in an elbow or turning your face away while coughing, should still be followed to reduce transmission whilst outdoors.
However, the guidelines are less clear on what people should do when outside.