The ‘garlic breath test’ can help you know when you’re standing to close to a friend (Picture: Getty Images)
A doctor has told how using the ‘garlic breath test’ can help people ensure they’re protecting themselves against catching airborne Covid.
Dr Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, is urging health leaders to focus on preventing airborne transmission of the virus. He told Sky News that he thought the emphasis on hand washing and sanitising was wrong.
He said: ‘So the message “hands, face, space”, we think should be really “space, space, hands”. The way this virus transmits is really through conversational distance, within one metre.’
Dr Tang noted that if a person can smell food on their friend’s breath, they could also be standing close enough to catch Covid.
He explained: ‘When you’re talking to a friend or sharing the same air as you’re listening to your friend talking, we call it the garlic-breath distance.
‘So if you can smell your friend’s lunch you’re inhaling some of that air as well as any virus that’s inhaled with it.
Effective ventilation is just as important as social distancing and wearing a face mask, Dr Julian Tang said (Picture: Getty Images)
Meeting up outdoors is the best option to protect against the virus (Picture: PA)
‘And this is why we say that masking is fine, social distancing is fine, but the indoor airborne environment needs to be improved and that can be done with ventilation.’
The Government previously launched a campaign urging Brits to keep their homes ventilated by opening windows and doors when people came to visit. Letting fresh air into spaces can reduce the risk of catching the virus by up to 70%.
Dr Tang continued: ‘If you think about it, if you burn your toast in the kitchen, if you open the windows and doors, the back door, it clears very quickly.
‘So you keep the windows open even halfway most of the time, then you can improve that ventilation rate in the indoor area and that reduces the overall airborne concentration that you can actually then reduce the risk of transmission from.
‘I think this is a really kind of addition to what people are doing, the social distancing, the masking. But if you’re indoors having a drink or eating, you can’t mask, you can’t maintain social distance, so the ventilation becomes much more important precautionarily.’
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