Common airborne viruses travel further, remain viable longer
When your mum told you to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, she was teaching you to prevent the infection of other people. New research findings are reinforcing that advice because the risk of infection by sharing germs this way is a lot higher than we thought. The current medical consensus is that if you sneeze or cough within about 1–2m of someone, and they breathe it in, or make oral contact with bacterial cells within a number of seconds or so, there is a chance of infection spreading to them. What if we have been underestimating the potential spread and lifetime of infectious agents?