Loud speech can leave coronavirus in air for up to 14 minutes - study

As Israelis are notoriously loud, it is perhaps in their own interest to continue wearing masks to stop the spread of the virus and "lower the curve."

Woman shouting (illustrative) (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Woman shouting (illustrative)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Tiny particles escaping from a person's mouth when they speak loudly – which may contain the coronavirus – can stay in the air from eight up to as much as 14 minutes, a study has found.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The results emphasize the importance of wearing medical masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists belonging to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and found that the particles that come out of a person's mouth when they speak loudly are much like those when they cough or sneeze.
Researchers had people repeat phrases loudly and monitored the droplets that flew out of their mouths as they decayed in the air using sensitive lasers. They reached the conclusion that "a single minute of loud speaking generates at least 1,000 virus-containing droplets," according to the MIT Technology Review.
Those same droplets can stay in the air for over eight minutes and up to 14 minutes. This presents serious implications about just how easy it is for a patient to release germs into their immediate environment: by simply speaking. The researchers additionally claim that there are people who produce larger amounts of the virus and may then release 10 times more of it into the air than others by speaking loudly.
The magazine pointed out, however, that the study assumed that coming into contact with a virus necessarily causes infection, despite that being questionable.
In addition, since the study was in a controlled environment, it did not take into account different factors that exist in a regular environment, such as wind and temperature.
As Israelis are notoriously loud, it is perhaps in their own interest to maintain wearing masks to stop the spread of the virus and "lower the curve."