Singing the Happy Birthday song as a means of measuring the proper duration of washing your hands is good but a recent study shows that it could also spread more infected droplets of coronavirus coming from the positive individual's mouth.
Lund University's Aerosol researchers in Sweden studied the amount or volume of particles that were emitted when singing and its impact on the virus spread.
According to Yahoo! News, in order to have a better understanding of the amount of the virus particles that were emitted when singing, the Aerosol researchers studied 12 healthy singers and two infected persons with COVID-19 while they are singing into a funnel.
Based on the study conducted by the researchers, singing specifically when doing it loud and pronouncing the consonant-rich lyrics just like Happy Birthday has, spreads more droplets to the air in the surroundings.
Researchers shared that if the singers will be wearing a face mask while venues practice and imposed proper social distancing and will have good ventilation, the risk brought by singing can be reduced even an event will be conducted.
The National Health Services or the NHS recommended individuals to sing Happy Birthday twice when washing hands as it has the exact amount of time to make sure that enough number of germs will be removed in the hands for it to be clean and safe.
The study's idea came off after numerous reports of coronavirus spread were connected to choir members singing together, explained by researchers.
Associate professor of Aerosol Technology, Jakob Löndahl who is also the study author shared that different restrictions have been imposed across the globe to make singing safer.
The author of the study also added that as of the moment there has been no scientific investigation on the number of aerosol particles and larger droplets that an individual can exhale when singing.
The small airborne particles that come out from the mouth are called the Aerosols; these particles differ in their sizes but the larger the particle the shorter it can travel from the mouth.
Moreover, a co-author on the study, Malin Alsved who is a doctoral student stated that some of the droplets are so large that they can only move a few decimeters from the mouth before falling to another surface while some smaller particles can even continue to hover and move for minutes before they fall, Daily Mail reported.
Alsved also stated that specifically, the enunciation of consonants releases the huge droplets, especially when pronouncing correctly letters B and P, the letters are the biggest aerosol spreaders.
While researchers are conducting the experiments, singers had to wear clean air suits before they can enter a specially built chamber which is supplied with filtered, particle-free air.
Inside the chamber is where the analysis was conducted, it is also where the number and mass of particles that were emitted by the singers when they talk, breathe were analyzed.
Singers were also tasked to sing different types of singing and singing while wearing a face mask to have a clearer understanding of the possibility of infecting and spreading a possible virus.
The researchers even eliminated the consonants on the lyrics of the songs to have a comparison on what can be the difference in the aerosol emission.
They also found out that the louder and powerful the song, the greater the concentration of aerosols and droplets can be emitted.
Researchers also confirmed that definitely by singing an infected person with COVID-19 can spread the virus.