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Experts warn pubs are the ‘perfect storm’ to catch coronavirus

by LLB staff reporter
9th Aug 20 11:04 am

Experts are warning that pubgoers are more likely to catch coronavirus and infect many other people are they are the “perfect storm” for spreading the virus.

Dr Julian W Tang, honorary associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester warned, if you can smell garlic on someone’s breath, then you are close enough to inhale the virus.

Drinkers who are inside will be subjecting themselves to a build up of infected droplets, as people naturally talk and tend to speak more loudly, which means you are expelling more droplets into the air.

Many pubs traditionally tend to have poor ventilation which is no different to peoples homes which has resulted in lockdowns in Leicester, parts of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and then Preston on Friday.

Dr Tang told PA news agency, “If the air space is poorly ventilated, that air that’s full of virus is not going to go anywhere.

“It’s going to linger there until the virus dries up and dies over time.” He warned that the most common method of transmission of coronavirus is probably through “conversational exposure.”

He explained that if someone tells a joke and when you laugh, you produce more air, therefore a group are more exposed to exhaling more droplets from a person who could be infected without knowing.

He was asked if being on a plane is similar to being in a pub. Dr Tang said that being in a pub is “even worse, because the aeroplane has very ventilation.

“The pubs don’t have very good ventilation.”

He added that planes filter systems can get rid of viruses, and believes they are safer due to their “ventilation system efficiency.”

He said, “In a pub you go there to talk, you go there to do exactly what you need to do to transmit the virus to each other.”

Dr Bharat Pankhania, senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter told the PA news agency, that after just two drinks people drop their guard.

“What do you do in the pub? Well you drink, and you have a conversation.”

“But several conversations in a confined space equals incrementally raising your voice to be heard.”

He said that people talking in a slightly louder voice results in the release of more droplets which could carry the virus, which may be propelled further.

He warned, “So more droplets equals more chance of picking up one droplet that eventually infects the other person.

“It is a perfect storm aided and abetted by alcohol the enabler.”

Dr Pankhania added, “With a silent enemy, the coronavirus coming out of droplets, you are blissfully unaware that it is happening, until a week later you have signs and symptoms of illness.”

What is alarmingly obvious is that he warned people are more sociable in a pub and will meet many other people, but, “you don’t know how many they have met” you could be asymptomatic with coronavirus.

He warned, “So they are meeting a lot of people as well as meeting you in the pub. You might be meeting them only, but you don’t know how many they have met.”

Even if you are alone in the pub, then you are still at risk, as you are in an environment where coronavirus could be freely circulating.

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