A prestigious scientific panel told the White House Wednesday night that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also just by talking, or possibly even just breathing.
“While the current coronavirus specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” according to the letter, written by Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences.
Fineberg, chair of the NAS Standing Committee On Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, said his letter was sent Wednesday evening in response to a query from Kelvin Droegemeier with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.
“This letter responds to your question concerning the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread by conversation, in addition to sneeze/cough-induced droplets,” the letter states. “Currently available research supports the possibility that coronavirus could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” it continues.