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Health & Science
White House advisor claims that coronavirus can also spread through talking or even just breathing

With coronavirus cases in the UK almost at 30,000, fears about the spread of the virus are now widespread.

While studies have shown that the virus tends to spread through coughs and sneezes, a White House advisor now claims that coronavirus can also spread through talking or even just breathing.

A letter by Dr Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences, reads: “While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolisation of virus from normal breathing.”

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Dr Fineberg said his letter was sent in response to a query from Kelvin Droegemeier with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.

The letter adds: “This letter responds to your question concerning the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread by conversation, in addition to sneeze/cough-induced droplets.

"Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients' exhalation.”

Speaking to CNN, Dr Fineberg added that it’s possible coronavirus droplets can linger in the air and potentially infect someone who walks by later.

He said: “If you generate an aerosol of the virus with no circulation in a room, it's conceivable that if you walk through later, you could inhale the virus.

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“But if you're outside, the breeze will likely disperse it."

The World Health Organisation is yet to confirm or deny Dr Fineberg’s claims.

On its website, it simply explains: "The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow)."

Coronavirus Talking Breathing

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