Thursday, February 3, 2011


When others sneeze, we will instruct them about the implications, about the spread of disease etc. But when we sneeze, are we following the etiquette? Some may and you are one among them!

Scientists have discovered that it takes just a single sneeze from a flu sufferer to spread germs around an entire room. And the contamination can last for hours, they say.

Researchers have found that the microscopic infected droplets emitted in a cough or sneeze float around the air in large enough concentrations to spread disease.
Breathing in airborne specks of virus found in a typical office, doctor’s surgery, plane or train could infect a person after just one hour. The discovery gives a ring of truth to the old advice that you should never visit a doctor’s waiting room unless you want to get sick.

A sneeze is a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth, usually caused by foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa. Sneezing can also be triggered through sudden exposure to bright light, a particularly full stomach, or viral infection, and can lead to the spread of disease.
While generally harmless in healthy individuals, sneezes spread disease through the infectious aerosol droplets, commonly ranging from 0.5 to 5 µm. 40,000 droplets can be produced by a sneeze.
However, the data collected from the 147th episode of Mythbusters titled 'Flu Fiction', concluded that the speed is closer to 35-40 mph, and that a sneeze can launch droplets from 15 to 20 feet.
In Indian Culture, especially in northern parts of India, and also in Iran, it has been a common superstition that a sneeze taking place before the start of any work was a sign of impending bad interruption. It was thus customary to pause in order to drink water or break any work rhythm before resuming the job at hand in order to prevent any misfortune from occurring.

Why do our eyes close every time we sneeze?''

It is unclear, but scientists theorize that we close our eyes to protect them. We may be protecting our eyes from microorganisms and particles from our sneezes,"