WINDY weather spreads germs further and faster, a new study has warned.
Coughing without a mask on when the weather is breezy means it can be whipped further away in the same direction.
So bugs can be blown on the wind to someone standing relatively safely away at more than seven feet, the research found.
It was primarily done to study the effect of people with Covid coughing without face coverings on windy days, but it can be applied to all airborne viruses.
This means, as Brits try to battle both Covid and what has been dubbed the "worst cold ever", even being outside might not keep you safe from germs.
As facemasks are no longer legal requirements when out and about, even a careful ventilated cough could end up infecting someone standing downwind.
Published in Physics of Fluids, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay found when a person coughs outdoors, wind flowing in the same direction can send the virus faster over longer distances than in calm conditions.
"The study is significant in that it points to the increased infection risk that coughing in the same direction as the wind could bring about," co-author Amit Agrawal said.
"Based on the results, we recommend wearing masks outdoors, particularly in breezy conditions."
They also recommend coughing in an elbow or turning the face away while coughing, should be followed to reduce transmission of viruses when socialising outdoors.
"The increase in residential time of some of the larger droplets will increase the viral load transmitting through the cough jet and, therefore, the chances of infection," Agrawal said.
"Overall, the study highlights increased chances of infection in the presence of even a light breeze."
It comes as the 'worst cold ever' has hit thousands of Brits in the last few weeks – with many saying they are struggling to shake the bug.
Thanks to several lockdowns and social distancing, colds and flu were stopped in their tracks for more than a year.
However, since things have reopened and Brits are spending more time socialising, coughs, colds and flu are on the rise.
Because of this lots of people have rushed to Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to talk about how they have been ill for weeks with the “worst cold ever”.
More and more people are being struck with the nasty illness, and taking days to recover.
This cold feels so bad in part because we have lost the immunity we had built up each year against the standard winter bugs – after social distancing and not mingling in the pandemic.
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