Airborne germs can live up to 45 minutes in the air, and travel up to four metres
We've all experienced it: one colleague is sick and the next day the whole office has caught it.
Now research out of Australia has offered an explanation, by revealing bacteria from coughs and sneezes can spread up to four metres, and remain alive in the air for up to 45 minutes.
The findings reinforced the old advice of covering you mouth when you sneeze or cough, to prevent the spread of infection.
The research from Queensland University of Technology was led by professor Lidia Morawska, who said the research was one of the first to study the lifespan of a multi-drug-resistant germ associated with hospital-acquired infections, when they are expelled by human coughs and sneezes.
Researchers noted that larger droplets carrying bacteria took longer to evaporate, making them more resistant to decay and able to maintain bacteria viability for much longer time periods.