ORLANDO, Fla. - We already knew the COVID-19 coronavirus was widespread and sometimes deadly. Now, we're learning it may be even more contagious than public health officials had originally thought.
Dr. Jason Littleton, head of family medicine at Orlando Regional Medical Center, cited a new study that showed even an infected patient's breath could carry the disease.
“If people are within the distance of six feet, if they breathe it in, they can also be infected with the COVID-19 virus,” Littleton said.
The study published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that tiny, airborne particles from someone's breath or even just talking can also spread the virus, almost like a cloud of sickness coming from an infected person.
“Assuming that there's a cloud is a great way mentally to think of keeping that six foot distance,” Littleton said.
The article specifically stated that "currently available research supports the possibility that COVID-19 could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation."
Dr. Littleton said we were rapidly uncovering new facts about this virus. “So as doctors and scientists, we are learning something new every day, virtually,” he said.
Little said it was all the more reason to just stay home, if you can.
“Staying home, you're less likely to run into individuals who have COVID-19, and you're in a controlled environment where you can wipe things down, keep your house clean, protect your loved ones.”