How many germs are spread with each cough or sneeze?

Bad news for the germaphobes, a large amount of saliva that could contain millions of viruses is expelled with every cough or sneeze:

  • Cough- coughing expels around 3,000 small droplets of saliva per cough that fly out of the mouth at speeds up to 30 kilometres per hour
  • Sneeze- sneezing expels as many as 40,000 saliva droplets per sneeze at speeds estimated at 120 kilometres per hour

The saliva droplets can be large and wet or very small and almost dry. The wet droplets fall to the ground or onto a surface, the small droplets, many only the size of a human hair and barely visible, can remain airborne for hours.

Saliva droplets do not always contain viruses, but if a person is sick, the droplets expelled with just one cough could contain as many as 200,000,000 individual virus particles.

How long will the viruses contained in the saliva droplets survive? The airborne droplets will survive for hours, the large droplets that land steel or plastic can survive for days.

Fortunately our immune system will fight off the majority of the viruses we contact, including the viruses found in the airborne and surface saliva droplets. BioCair has created a range of non-toxic, high-level disinfectants that kill viruses found in the air and on surfaces, our disinfectants work with the body to improve overall health and immunity.

 

Reference drawn from Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/3686-gross-science-cough-sneeze.html