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Aalto University via YouTube
Aalto University via YouTube

A new 3D model simulation shows just how easily a cough from someone infected with the coronavirus can spread in the air at a grocery store.

Aalto University in Finland, recently released a 3D simulation video showing how far and quickly someone who is infected with the coronavirus, or an air-borne illness, can spread the virus. This simulation is based off of a study that included researchers from Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Technical and Innovation Centre VTT and Helsinki University.

The researchers, who used super computer and who are experts in physics, ventilation, engineering and viruses, modeled a scenario where a person coughs in an aisle between shelves, like in a grocery store. The researchers, who even took into consideration the ventilation, did the experiment independently used the same beginning conditions. After individually conducting the experiment, they all ended up with the same results.

The clip shows how the germs from a person that coughs or sneezes once, or even talks in a grocery store aisle, can remain in the air for several minutes and move as far as two aisles over.

According to Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen,

‘Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus. These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity.

The researchers modeled the airborne movement of aerosol particles smaller than 20 micrometers. A dry cough, which is a common symptom of the coronavirus, has particle sizes that are typically less than 15 micrometers. Because of the extremely small size of the particles, they don't fall to the floor, but instead move with the air currents and float in place.

Jussi Sane, Chief Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, along with the CDC, recommends that you stay at home if you are unwell and that you maintain physical distance with everyone. They also recommend coughing into your sleeve or a tissue and washing your hands.

The CDC also  recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public where it is hard to maintain social distancing, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission, like grocery stores.

How can I stay safe while grocery shopping? And answers to 24 other coronavirus questions

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