The world’s governments seem to have failed into completely eradicating the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The pandemic infects hundreds of thousands of people every day, and many European countries are facing a wild surge of cases and larger than ever: Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and others.
We all should know by now the usual ways that COVID-19 goes from one person to another. The contact with someone who coughs and doesn’t wear a mask represents a possibility of getting infected with the virus. But the work of researchers from the University of Central Florida reveals that some people are able to spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus much faster than others.
Those with a congested nose and a full set of teeth are COVID-19 superspreaders
Since sneeze droplets carry the terrifying virus, the researchers had been using computer simulations to see how far these droplets travel when it comes to people with different physiological features. According to the new study, respiratory droplets are travelling about 60% more when coming out of a congested nose and a person who is fully-toothed.
Michael Kinzel, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor with UCF’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, declared:
This is the first study that aims to understand the underlying ‘why’ of how far sneezes travel,
We show that the human body has influencers, such as a complex duct system associated with the nasal flow that actually disrupts the jet from your mouth and prevents it from dispersing droplets far distances.
The researchers from the University of Central Florida tested the superspreader dilemma while focusing on four types of people: one with teeth and a clear nose; one with no teeth and a clear nose; one with teeth and a clogged nose; and another with no teeth and a congested nose. Clogged noses are prone to stronger slingshots of snot due to the area for droplets to release being restricted. The ejection increases in its velocity, and we can’t say the same for what happens in a clear pathway.
In short, the researchers involved are summarizing that blowing the nose regularly could help reduce the distance travelled by the person’s potentially infected germs after sneezing.
Watch out also for those with poor hygiene and healthcare workers
These two groups of people are also likely to spread the SARS-CoV-2 faster than most of the other people. The reasons are obvious: healthcare workers are coming in contact with a lot of people, and those with poor hygiene are not following a simple and basic rule of protection.
As for a mouth full of teeth, Michael Kinzel also says:
Teeth create a narrowing effect in the jet that makes it stronger and more turbulent,
They actually appear to drive transmission. So, if you see someone without teeth, you can actually expect a weaker jet from the sneeze from them.
Unfortunately, people spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus in one way or another represent something usual. Worldometers.info says that there’s a total of over 58 million infections worldwide and a death toll of almost 1.4 million people. The USA remains the most affected country in the world with almost 12.5 million total infections and more than 260,000 deaths. India comes second, with more than 9 million infections and over 133,000 deaths. Brazil occupies the third place after reporting over 6 million infections and more than 169,000 dead people. China, the country where the COVID-19 had its initial outbreak, currently occupies only the 68th place.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are almost ready for approval, which means that the horror should end pretty soon.