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Singing or talking spread Covid-19

Date: 16 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The act of singing emits particles into the air, and the novel coronavirus spreads through particles. Examining the phenomenon has thrown different results.

 

Details

  • The louder you sing the more particles you spread. Consonants — particularly P, B, R, T — are bigger aerosol spreaders than vowels.

  • The other paper found that singing does not produce very substantially more respiratory particles than speaking, when both are at a similar volume.

  • Researchers measured particles emitted by 12 healthy singers and two people with confirmed Covid-19; 7 of the 14 were professional opera singers.

  • They investigated a number of different aspects of singing: singing compared to talking, singing loud compared to normal singing, singing with face mask and singing consonants compared to vowels.

  • Compared to all the different consonants, the consonants P, B, R, and T generated a high numbers of droplets.

  • At the same time, larger droplets fall to the ground earlier, and so have a shorter lifespan than smaller droplets.

  • The main reasons for supposing a larger transmission of disease from the big droplets is that they can contain more virus than smaller aerosol particles and that disease transmission usually occur at rather close contact and less over longer distances.

  • However, singing does not produce very substantially more aerosol than speaking at a similar volume.

  • There were no significant differences in aerosol production between genders, or among different genres (choral, musical theatre, opera, choral, jazz, gospel, rock and pop).