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How far do germs travel when you sneeze?

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Quick Answer

The force of a sneeze can send 100,000 germs across a distance of 5 to 32 feet. Moreover, droplets that remain airborne can continue to travel through ventilation systems, ending up much farther away.

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Full Answer

The average sneeze travels between 80 to 100 miles per hour and contains about 40,000 droplets. Most of these droplets measure less than 100 microns across. Research in 2014 demonstrated while the bigger, heavier droplets quickly fall to the ground, those droplets of 50 microns or less can remain floating in the air, traveling up to 200 times farther than previously thought. Airborne viruses can live for hours and can survive for days after landing on nonporous surfaces.

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