Don Milton tells The Washington Post there are common misconceptions about respiratory droplets
A growing number of studies have found evidence that the coronavirus can remain suspended in the air in aerosol particles. But, Don Milton told the Washington Post that there is widespread confusion surrounding respiratory droplets and aerosol particles.
There's not a bright line between the two, he says.
“First of all, they are all respiratory droplets — some are larger and some are smaller, all the way down to microdroplets less than a single micron in diameter," Milton explained. "It is true that larger droplets will behave as aerosols as the velocity of air increases, countering the pull of gravity so that they don’t fall out.”
Milton is planning studies to help definitively answer questions about whether fine aerosolized particles are routinely generated when people breathe or cough-- and whether these particles are likely to spread disease.
To do this, Milton is using a device he invented that measures virus shedding in exhaled breath, called the Gesundheit II..
Milton is an infectious disease aerobiologist in the school's Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, and an expert in aerosol transmission.