Yep. The viruses that cause the common cold and flu are those that depend on transmission via the respiratory route. This includes coughing, sneezing, and even flat out talking or breathing. That’s why it’s best to just stay away from sick people in general. It also gives you a really good excuse to tell someone you don’t like to stop talking and save their breath!
By exhaling into a balloon, usually forcefully, the sick individual will definitely expel plenty of ‘virions’ (the infective form of a virus).
When you pop that balloon, the virions will then be released into the air around you, and if you’re close enough (within 2 meters or so), then you’ll almost certainly inhale a few of them. You may be even farther away than that and still get sick if the winds carry the virions in your direction or if you touch a contaminated surface and then your nose or mouth.
Oh, and just one more thing, it’s a fact that upper respiratory viruses, like those that cause the flu and the common cold, can be shed into the environment and infect another person both before and after symptoms of the disease start and end, respectively. So, just because you don’t feel or look sick, that doesn’t mean you’re not making other people sick by talking to them about why you’re fed up with Arsene Wenger’s transfer policies.
Answer by Artem Cheprasov
Question from Dave Gray via Facebook