Practically zero chance to spread the virus through breathing, says health spokesperson

Practically zero chance to spread the virus through breathing, says health spokesperson

The transmission of the novel coronavirus through breath is zero or practically zero in case a person doesn’t speak, according to Belgium’s Federal Public Health Service (FPS).

“That risk is further reduced if people wear masks," Yves Van Laethem, spokesperson from the FPS clarified on today’s crisis press conference.

As social life starts to resume little by little, Yves Van Laethem points out that although the virus "in certain circumstances can spread very quickly, this is not always the case."

"There are several situations where the risk of infection is very low. It will essentially depend on the duration of your contacts and the proximity of this contact," Laethem added.

"Passing someone 1,5 meters away or staying next to another person at this distance" presents almost "no risk".

However, speaking loudly, having a coughing fit while being closer than 1,5 meters, and having prolonged contact are more significant risk factors, Yves Van Laethem explains.

On the other hand, being outside will further reduce the risk “due to natural ventilation,” Van Laethem says.

It’s almost summer and the weather conditions should allow us to ventilate our homes and premises, especially if we have to stay there for a longer time and in the presence of many people."

The spokesperson also brought up air-conditioning in offices or shops. "You have to try not to re-circulate the air inside but to extract the air outside, if possible with effective filters."

The FPS Health and the Crisis Center also issued a recommendation when going to the toilet.

"We recommend closing the seats before flushing. The virus can also be found in the digestive tract and in excrement. The toilet flush may allow the virus to be propelled into the air."

The Brussels Times

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