THIS horrifying video reveals how coronavirus droplets can linger in the air for an hour after someone coughs.
Experts at Mater Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, used a high-speed camera to test the effectiveness of different types of face coverings.
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They found that wearing a surgical mask or cloth covering limited the amount of droplets that were suspended in the air.
But without any protection, their experiment showed that aerosols could be propelled more than two metres – and linger in the air for an hour.
The research was led by Dr Kevin Nolan, an engineer at University College Dublin, and Ronan Cahill, Mater Hospital’s professor of surgery, and was carried out using two different methods.
The first was Schlieren technology – a process which uses high-spec mirrors and light to show the density of fluids and gases, as well as the speed and distance they can travel when someone breathes, coughs or sneezes.
Dr Nolan told the Irish Times: “We can see that large droplets fall quickly to the ground while smaller particles which can contain the virus linger in the atmosphere.
“When someone with Covid-19 coughs or sneezes some of the particles carry the virus and others don’t, which is why I refer to it as Russian roulette.”
As Schlieren technology doesn’t cover great distances, the team also came up with a method using high-powered lasers to show how far droplets can travel and how long they stay airborne.
Dr Nolan said that their combined experiments revealed that wearing a mask had a huge impact on how far droplets could travel.
“Conspiracy theorists will have you believe masks can’t work because they virus is so small and can travel through material but that is to misunderstand the science,” he added.
The researchers also found that aerosols carrying Covid-19 can exit through the abdomen during keyhole surgery, potentially putting entire teams of medics at risk.
They stressed the importance of staff taking extra precautions when it comes to carrying out laparoscopic surgeries on Covid patients.
Dr Cahill added that their findings had made it easier to visualise exactly what is happening within the environment when someone expels aerosols.
He said: “When you can see exactly what is happening using this technology it is very shocking – and now we have a different way of looking at that.”
The experts hope that their findings will allow medics to modify their practices, including ventilation, mask-wearing and how people move around the operating theatre.
It comes as a chilling new video was released by the Government to illustrate how coronavirus droplets can spread.
The two-minute film warns Brits to wash their hands, wear a mask and keep a safe distance as Covid cases rise across the country.
One man can be seen shopping in a supermarket as green Covid particles ooze from a woman walking past.
Another woman chats with a friend at home as she spreads the ghastly droplets around her.
The particles are transferred from her hands and face to surfaces including a mug and mobile phone – ramming home the need to wash hands regularly and stay apart.
It’s part of the Government’s “Hands, Face, Space” campaign aimed at halting the rise in Covid cases as the country heads towards winter.