Person you need to ‘steer clear’ of outside. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Person you need to ‘steer clear’ of outside. Photographer: Liam Kidston

Person you need to ‘steer clear’ of outside

There are only a handful of reasons we are allowed to leave our homes - one of them being exercise.

With no gyms open or group workout sessions allowed, many people are turning to running to get their permitted dose of daily exercise.

But are joggers putting those they pass in the street at risk?

We are currently still allowed outside to exercise, but the increase in runners hitting the pavement has left many asking if they are putting others at risk. Picture: Rohan Kelly
We are currently still allowed outside to exercise, but the increase in runners hitting the pavement has left many asking if they are putting others at risk. Picture: Rohan Kelly

As more and more people pound the pavements, and some failing to upkeep the social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres between others while doing so, it's a question being asked.

"We need to get a grip of the Joggers and runners. If infected they are vectors for the virus," one person wrote on Twitter.

Others expressed similar thoughts and fears.

 

 

 

 

Journalist and medical professional Dr Norman Swan agreed, explaining on ABC's Coronacast that he "steers clear" of runners because of the alarming levels of risky body secretions.

"If joggers invade your personal space they are flicking whatever secretions they've got," he said.

While he wasn't sure if coronavirus had been found in sweat just yet, he said it has been located in stools and other bodily fluids, so he suggests avoiding contact sweat too.

However his biggest concern when it came to runners who don't adhere to social distancing isn't the sweat - it's their breath.

"Sweat isn't the only secretion you emit when you're in physical extremist jogging down the road," he said.

"As you're breathing up and breathing fast, if you've got virus there you are more likely to be aerosolising it," Dr Swan added.

"When I'm out running I steer clear of other people and I certainly steer clear of runners coming towards me because these in a sense project that bigger tidal volume, that bigger depth of breathing and rapid breathing, if they had COVID-19 then they could actually be spraying it out more than normal."

Dr Normal Swan has warned people to ‘steer clear’ of runners who are secreting sweat and breathing heavier than normal. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Dr Normal Swan has warned people to ‘steer clear’ of runners who are secreting sweat and breathing heavier than normal. Photographer: Liam Kidston

Amy Treakle, an infectious disease specialist with the Polyclinic in Seattle, issued another warning over a habit many joggers have - spitting.

"COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and transmission may occur when these droplets enter the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby," she told fitness publication Bicyling.

"Spit contains saliva but could also contain sputum from the lungs or drainage from the posterior nasopharynx."

Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton issued a helpful trick for runners to help keep their distance, saying you need roughly the length of two standard supermarket trolleys between you.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au



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