Jan. 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM ET
We've long known that coughing and sneezing spreads cold and flu germs. Now, researchers are finding that so do singing, whistling and laughing, reported Reuters.
And if you're felled by the flu, especially don't bellow along to the music of Les Miz. (We're looking at you, Susan Boyle.) "I suspect that singing (especially trained operatic singing) will produce an even stronger, more penetrating plume [of infection]," Julian Tang, a virologist and consultant with Singapore's National University Hospital told Reuters.
The Singapore researchers are using a ginormous mirror and high-speed camera to watch the splatter and figure out exactly how far those flu bugs fly through the air. (Hopefully, they also have a spectacular amount of Windex.)
Once researchers learn the answer, they can better recommend how far apart to place hospital beds or quarantine patients with an airborne infection - and you'll know how far to stand from your coughing, singing, whistling flu-infected loved ones.
They'll also be looking at how effective coughing into a loosely clenched fist, a tissue or face mask actually is, Reuters reported. No word on the effect of Josh Groban on influenza.