How far does a cough and sneeze travel?

The 2-metre social distancing rule is something that has now become very normal in all our lives. You see it pretty much everywhere you go. The reason for this distance between people is to prevent close contact, which is how the COVID-19 virus is transmitted between people.

But when someone coughs or sneezes, how far exactly do the released droplets travel?

Well, research has found that ‘the average sneeze or cough can send around 100,000 contagious germs into the air at speeds up to 100 miles per hour’. In a moist and warm environment, usually indoors, these droplets can travel as far as eight metres. And as mentioned in this previous blog post about how long COVID-19 can linger in the air, these droplets can then stick around in the air for up to three hours, or land on nearby surfaces. So, they’re fast, can travel quite far in distance, and don’t dissipate in the air or on surfaces instantly.

This is why a part of personal hygiene, especially in the current pandemic, is making doubly sure we’re not coughing and sneezing without covering our noses and mouths. This could be through the wearing of face masks, or coughing/sneezing into your elbow then washing or sanitising your hands afterwards.

However, accidents of course happen and people will cough or sneeze freely. So, another way to ensure that there are little to no germs in the air around us when we’re indoors is through having good ventilation. Fresh and clean air regularly flowing in and out could help in reducing the risk of having COVID-19 present in your indoor environment.

Opening up doors and windows is one way to keep a space well ventilated. However, this isn’t always possible in all indoor spaces.

And this is where air sterilisers come in. These are devices that use a technology which creates UV light, ozone, and negatively-charged ions.  These all exist in the environment already, so are safe, and are quite powerful methods of disinfection. They eliminate bacteria, viruses, mould, and can break down unwanted chemicals and smells.

You can find out more about air sterilisers and how they work in our guide we put out recently.


Just to note: The fixed installation air sterilisers we currently sell on our website are only recommended for washrooms or other transient areas where people only spend a short period at a time.

Air sterilisers are great additions to spaces that may need that extra bit of cleaning, like your washrooms. They're easy to install and use, provide 24/7 cleaning support, reduce waste, and could save you on costs in the long-term.

For more information or for help in finding your ideal washroom product, please contact us on 0114 3540047, use our contact us page by clicking here or click to visit the website.

In the trade? Don't forget we can set you up with a trade account for your purchases.

We have wholesaler, contractor, public sector and charity discounts available, please don't hesitate to ask or find out more information by clicking here.

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