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Breathing Slowly may Increase the Risk to COVID-19

by Karishma Abhishek on January 14, 2021 at 12:47 PM
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Breathing Slowly may Increase the Risk to COVID-19

Many may hold their breath or breathe slower to protect themselves from COVID infection as they pass by an individual with or without a mask. Well, this may just not work right and instead only increase the risk of contracting the infection as per a study by IIT Madras.

It was found that the slower and deeper breathing allows the aerosol particles to stay longer inside the lungs and thereby increases the chance of the virus deposition deep in the lung.

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"The morphometry and bronchioles of lung as well as breathing pattern varies with individuals. So, it is hard to control that. But it affects the deposition rates," says Prof Mahesh Panchagnula, who led the research team.

Slower breathing and COVID-19

Globally affecting pandemic of coronavirus is shown to spread exclusively through tiny droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The IITM team thus replicated the droplet dynamics in the lung by studying the movement of droplets in the small capillaries or blood vessels which were similar in size to bronchioles or air passages in the lungs.
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Earlier the group had also demonstrated the variability in aerosol uptake from individual to individual, that suggests the reason why some people are more susceptible to airborne diseases than others. Hence along with biological immunity aspect, lung morphometry also poses an individual to be more susceptible to infection than others.

"In some other related work, we found that the efficacy of wearing a mask is very good. If a COVID positive person wearing a mask coughs or sneezes, the aerosol production rate goes down by almost a factor of 1000. The mask also protects you from the large droplets produced when a person sneezes or coughs. It cuts both ways," says Prof Panchagnula.

Quick Facts on COVID-19

  • On 30 January 2020, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The declaration is WHO highest level of alarm - a rallying call to all countries is to immediately take notice, and take action
  • As a global pandemic, COVID-19 has infected 90,335,008 confirmed cases, including 1,954,336 deaths, as reported to WHO till date
  • Global scientists are intensifying research into COVID-19, as the World Health Organization (WHO) moves to expand its scientific collaboration and monitoring of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue


Source: Medindia
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