Over the past two years, masks and social distancing have become part of our everyday lives as the virus is known to spread through the air.
But can we all transmit this virus in the same way? How likely is it that some people are more likely to transmit viral particles than others?
Are men really to blame?
A new study from Colorado State University suggests that men are much more likely to transmit viral particles than women. Experts argue that this is due to the peculiarities of speech and the large volume of lungs in men, proving this with fairly convincing numbers.
So, according to the results of the study, men emit 62% more small aerosol particles during breathing than women.
In addition, adults emit 62% more of these particles than children; and when singing, the emitted particles are as much as 77% more than during normal calm conversation.
In other words, the average man spreads more viral particles when talking compared to a woman or a 10-year-old child.
However, a child who sings or a woman who screams releases more viral particles than a man who just talks.
The author of the study, Professor John Walkens, emphasized the importance of these results, as they are related to the measurement of CO2 levels and indoor noise, and therefore, they can be used to determine the risks of infection transmission.
“In fact, you don’t need to know exactly how many men, women and children were in the room. Just measure the levels of CO2 and noise, and you get a very clear picture of the likelihood of infection,” explains Volkens.
Other factors in the transmission of viral particles
In their study, John Walkens’ team also emphasizes that many factors need to be taken into account to determine how viruses are transmitted.
“Factors such as the infectious dose of the pathogen, viral load in the source person and host susceptibility (which are physiology, genetics and comorbidities), as well as a huge range of environmental and social factors associated with human interaction, affect the likelihood of disease transmission” , according to their work.
Practical application of research results
The results of the study have already been put into practice at the University of Colorado in order to return to normal life and learning.
Recently, in this educational institution, all music and theater courses have been canceled or switched offline. However, this research has helped the University to restart the curriculum by measuring CO2 levels and indoor noise levels.
Professor John Walkens is convinced that in the future this method can be used for any airborne diseases such as the common cold or seasonal flu.
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