Gesundheit!

Slow motion sneeze footage reveals the true reach of respiratory droplets ejected from the human body.

The Scientist Staff
Jul 31, 2020
VIDEO COURTESY OF PROF BOUROUIBA, MIT/JAMA NETWORK

MIT’s Lydia Bourouiba used a high speed camera to record coughs and sneezes at a rate of up to 2,000 frames per second. While previous work has described exhalations in terms of either large, fast-falling droplets or small, drifting aerosols, the videos reveal that sneezes are dynamic and turbulent clouds containing both air and mucosalivary droplets of many sizes. These coughs and sneezes can travel up to 26 feet, far beyond the 6-foot distancing rule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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