What is the safest way to sneeze when you’re in a room with other people?
To find out, Dr. Richard Besser visited Tech Imaging in Boston, and using their high speed 2,500 frame per second Phantom cameras he wanted to find out exactly how far and wide a sneeze travels.
Using a group of volunteers he tested some of the most common techniques, including covering your mouth with your hand, covering your mouth with your elbow, and using a tissue.
To help see the path of the sneeze, volunteers coated their mouths with food coloring and stood on a long paper ruler so they could see exactly how far the spit traveled.
The worst technique? Using your hands. Not much got out but there was still spit 3 ½ feet away and our volunteers hand was coated in food coloring.
The best technique? The tissue. Believe it or not, when our volunteer sneezed right into the tissue we found nothing got through.
So if you're coming down with something, make sure you keep a pack of tissues in your pocket.
- Society & Culture
- Richard Besser