CDC Says Ebola Droplets Can Only Travel 3 Feet … But MIT Research Shows Sneezes Can Travel Up to 20 Feet

CDC Says Ebola Droplets Can Only Travel 3 Feet … But MIT Research Shows Sneezes Can Travel Up to 20 Feet (Washington’s Blog, Oct 28, 2014):

Checking the CDC’s Math

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admitted that Ebola can travel through the air in aerosols, but claims that it can never go more than 3 feet.

Let’s check their math …

CDC (like the World Health Organization) admits that Ebola can be spread through sneezing or coughing.

But the CDC itself admits that flu droplets can travel 6 feet.

Mythbusters demonstrated that sneezes can nail people some 17 feet away:

But engineers at MIT show that sneezes can actually travel up to 200 times farther than previously thought … up to 20 feet.


Gas clouds:

“[The study] changes our current ideas of how far germs can spread in aerosols such as coughs or sneezes,” Mary B. Farone, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Middle Tennessee State University, told “We used to think if we could see the spray, that was the limit of the dissemination, but this study shows that tiny particles, such as bacteria and viruses, can be spread much further on gas clouds.”

MIT explains:

A novel study by MIT researchers shows that coughs and sneezes have associated gas clouds that keep their potentially infectious droplets aloft over much greater distances than previously realized.“When you cough or sneeze, you see the droplets, or feel them if someone sneezes on you,” says John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics at MIT, and co-author of a new paper on the subject. “But you don’t see the cloud, the invisible gas phase. The influence of this gas cloud is to extend the range of the individual droplets, particularly the small ones.”

Indeed, the study finds, the smaller droplets that emerge in a cough or sneeze may travel five to 200 times further than they would if those droplets simply moved as groups of unconnected particles — which is what previous estimates had assumed. The tendency of these droplets to stay airborne, resuspended by gas clouds, means that ventilation systems may be more prone to transmitting potentially infectious particles than had been suspected.


The researchers used high-speed imaging of coughs and sneezes, as well as laboratory simulations and mathematical modeling, to produce a new analysis of coughs and sneezes from a fluid-mechanics perspective. Their conclusions upend some prior thinking on the subject.


The study finds that droplets 100 micrometers — or millionths of a meter — in diameter travel five times farther than previously estimated, while droplets 10 micrometers in diameter travel 200 times farther. Droplets less than 50 micrometers in size can frequently remain airborne long enough to reach ceiling ventilation units.

A cough or sneeze is a “multiphase turbulent buoyant cloud,” as the researchers term it in the paper, because the cloud mixes with surrounding air before its payload of liquid droplets falls out, evaporates into solid residues, or both.

The study notes:

Our key findings are as follows. The turbulent multiphase cloud plays a critical role in extending the range of the majority of pathogen-bearing drops that accompany human coughs and sneezes. Smaller droplets (less than 50 µm diameter) can remain suspended in the cloud long enough for the cough to reach heights where ventilation systems can be contaminated (4–6 m).

6 meters equals 19.685 feet.

(“µm” means micrometers … i.e. one millionth of a meter. Ebola viruses are only 80 nanometers in diameter, and up to 14,000 nanometers long. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. As such, Ebola virus filaments can easily fit within a 50 micrometer size droplet.)

While Slate may have gotten the numbers wrong, they made an entertaining video about the MIT study:

1 thought on “CDC Says Ebola Droplets Can Only Travel 3 Feet … But MIT Research Shows Sneezes Can Travel Up to 20 Feet”

  1. Friend at IU, please, PLEASE don’t feed their propaganda mixer….Ebola is being pushed everywhere, don’t help them. I cannot bear to look at it much, it turns my stomach. There is no epidemic in the US, and this is pure BS.

    Sometimes I wish I had not studied the art and science of propaganda with my history degree…….it is so damn obvious they are programming the idiots to find it okay to haul people off to concentration camps……it is horrifying. I will check again, I bet it is nearly the same. Every channel was pushing Ebola and the need for 21 day isolation camps. This is so scary………It is like a rerun of Germany in the 1930s. 21 days will become 21 months. Obama has already made laws that re-education of people is now legal…… his credit, he did come out and state he is not supporting mandatory isolation……

    People like us who ask questions will vanish. I really fear for everyone with a mind. I think it is time to consider self deliverance……I have cancer of the spine anyway.
    I really don’t like what I am hearing and seeing.

    My brother died yesterday. My sister, married to a TV junkie, said he had been sick, and she almost said it could be Ebola…….of course it was not, he had a heart attack……..but decided not to say it; it was too absurd, even for her.

    Bloomberg: Christmas: Holiday spending forecasts are split… kidding, but employment rate lowest since 2008…….Gee, you think that will make a difference? Housing prices are the same as they were in 2008……wages are falling…….Some say recession is back….you think?
    However, QE is OVER, and the talking heads are trying to sell its benefits…….but, I don’t think it is going to work well. Greedy guts are not happy. Vote to end QE was 9-1.
    What the talking heads don’t seem to recognize is that the FED is a private bank, not a give away center of the government. At some point, they will try to sell all the garbage they have been buying, and it will be sooner than later, especially if the dollar is lurching towards collapse.

    The BIG PROBLEM. What happens when the FED goes to SELL some of these mortgage backed securities they have been buying at $80 Billion a month. They are not going to eat those trillions of dollars……..and I’d like to see what happens when they do
    Al Jazerra: Ebola coming from bad meat now, not just infected people…….
    WHO declares Ebola a world emergency…..they are citing one or two people getting sick and dying…….

    Volcano taking off in Hawaii (they do that all the time, it is new land)

    MSNBC: Obama making special speech on Ebola today.

    OAN: Russia Recognizes Rebel elections in Ukraine…..
    They are covering the story about the IRS grabbing the restaurant’s money.
    Rice crop in CA dead. Birds are starving, and have to go elsewhere……yet Fukushima isn’t mentioned. Instead, they talk about Sushi restaurants suffering.

    BBC: People attacking villages in Nigeria….more Ebola bullshit,
    They are spending all time on Ebola……I wonder how much they are being paid.

    All CNN channels are covering Elections, democrats will be hurt. No kidding, there is zero difference between the two parties….and maybe the dumb dodos are figuring it out.
    Obama is shown being booed… Wisconsin. The nation despises him as much as his enemies.

    FOX: Terrorists in the US on the rise…

    This is all I can stand.

    Gas going up in price, big surprise.


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