The distance of two meters to prevent contagion by SARS-CoV-2 is an arbitrary measure, suggests a study released this Tuesday, which indicates that the airborne transmission of the virus is very variable and can exceed that distance.

The conclusion is from a study published this Tuesday in the scientific journal Physics of Fluids which points out the ineffectiveness of social distancing per se to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus responsible for covid-19.

Using a computer modeling method to quantify how the droplets spread when we cough, the team of engineers at Cambridge University concluded that, without a mask, a person with covid-19 can infect another at a distance of two meters, even when open air.

On the other hand, coughing also varies, so researchers suggest that the safe distance could be anywhere from one to three or more meters, depending on the risk tolerance of the health authority that sets the rule.

“Part of the way this disease spreads is virology: the amount of virus we have in our body, the viral particles we expel when we talk or cough. Another part is fluid mechanics.”, explains Shrey Trivedi, from the Cambridge Engineering department, quoted in a statement.

It is through fluid mechanics that researchers look at SARS-CoV-2 in this study to understand what happens to droplets after they are expelled.


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