Coronavirus: Doctor reveals if you can catch virus from joggers breathing heavily

With the UK still on lockdown, doing all we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is on the forefront of most minds. Nine days ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures we must all undertake in order to prevent a further spread of the deadly virus. These included being allowed to leave the house for basic necessities, essential travel to work and caring for a vulnerable person. Another measure was being allowed to perform one exercise outside of the house. But could we be putting ourselves at greater risk by doing this?


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What we do know is that the social distancing rule still applies when it comes to exercising.

People have been told to still stick to the imperative two-meter rule, ensuring there is a good enough space between you and others.

This can be a difficult rule to follow however, as certain pavements and roads tend to be quite narrow and with passing cars, navigating into the road is possible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person, usually via close contact.

That could include physical contact, like handshaking or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Dr Robert Murphy, an infectious disease expert at Northwestern University said: “A sneezing or coughing person will cover their mouth, get it all over their hand, and then touch something that you then touch.

“The virus can then gain entry into your body when you touch your own face.

“Simply put, coughing, sneezing, heavy breathing and even talking up closely could potentially spread the virus.

When it comes to running, it’s a no-brainer that heavy breathing ensues and with the narrow roads and pavements, could this spell possible infections?

Dr Sarah Jarvis discussed the matter on Channel 5 and reassured those worried about a possible spread from runners that it would in fact take around 50 runners breathing heavily running past you for a person to get the infection.

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control said: “People with flu and viruses can spread it to others up to about six feet away.


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“Most experts think that viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk.

“These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

“Less often, a person might get a spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.”

A new study confirmed that the virus can be spread by simply just breathing.

In the study, the scientists found large quantities of infectious flu virus in the exhaled breath of people with the disease, highlighting the importance of “airborne” transmission in flu spread.

The study co-author said of the discovery: “The study findings suggest that keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time and avoiding people who are coughing does not provide complete protection from getting the flu.”

However, Dr Jarvis assured the coronavirus is very unlikely to be spread by a heavy breathing runner.

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