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What We Know About Joggers' Breathing And Your Covid Risk

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Every Monday, we’ll answer your questions on Covid-19 and health in a feature published online. You can submit a question here.

This week, HuffPost UK reader Jill asked: “People are not allowed to sing in huge, high ceiling churches, yet panting joggers regularly pass me much closer than two metres. Am I more at risk walking through a jogger’s ‘vapour trail’ than I am walking through another walker’s vapour trail?”

There’s perhaps nothing worse for your Covid anxiety than having a person run past you while breathing heavily – especially in winter when you can physically see their breath puffing out into the air.

But the risk of catching Covid-19 from someone running past you is actually very low.

Professor Chris Budd, is an expert in applied mathematics at the University of Bath and part of a forum for knowledge exchange in the mathematical sciences (V-KEMS), which has considered this question as part of a general study of the transmission of Covid-19 in a crowd.

He tells HuffPost UK: “Extensive numerical simulations based on careful mathematical models of aerosol transport have shown that it is, in general, safer to be closer to someone if they are running past you, than further away if you are stationary – such as in a room when someone is singing.”

This is because the time of the exposure is less in the first case than in the second, even though the aerosols have had less time to diffuse away.

“There is of course a trade off between distance away and the speed of the runner, but in general I would say that I would be........

© HuffPost

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