Is it too risky to go for a run?

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE­STYLE - ALI­SON IZZO AND SEVIN PAKBAZ

GIVEN we’re all in lock­down mode, it’s never been more im­por­tant to stay ac­tive. For our phys­i­cal, as well as our men­tal, health.

Much has been said about whether we should be ex­er­cis­ing in gyms (an­swer: no), in out­door Boot­camps (again, no) and even go­ing for a run out­side (stay tuned).

Ini­tially, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als agreed that the main cause for in­fec­tion hap­pened via per­son-to-per­son con­tact, or by com­ing in con­tact with a con­tam­i­nated sur­face – con­sider this a friendly re­minder to wash your ve­g­ies.

But now, there is grow­ing ev­i­dence that in­fec­tion can also hap­pen by vi­ral droplets in the air (and sub­se­quently, a re­think on if and when we should wear a sur­gi­cal face mask by the US Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion).

Pre­vi­ously, jog­ging out­side was said to be rel­a­tively safe by pro­fes­sion­als but this rise in con­cern about air­borneborne in­fec­tion raised ques­tions for us, so we de­cided to call in the ex­perts to make a call, given what we know to date.

Although it is pos­si­ble to con­tract COVID-19 while on an out­doors run, it’s not likely.

Swift­doc founder Richard McMa­hon ex­plained to body+soul that the risk of catch­ing coro­n­avirus mostly came down to the run­ning route cho­sen.

“The dan­ger is less about go­ing for a run and more about those you may en­counter along the way. COVID-19 is spread by cough­ing and sneez­ing, or com­ing into con­tact with con­tam­i­nated sur­faces,” Dr McMa­hon said.

“If you fol­low the rec­om­men­da­tions such as run­ning solo, stay­ing away from crowds and wash­ing your hands thor­oughly when you get home, your risk of catch­ing COVID-19 while run­ning is min­i­mal.

“You can mit­i­gate any risks dur­ing your run and pro­tect your­self and oth­ers by keep­ing your dis­tance.

“Make sure you run alone and in non-crowded ar­eas, avoid­ing other peo­ple where pos­si­ble.”

To elab­o­rate, Paul Grif­fin the di­rec­tor of Mater Hos­pi­tals in­fec­tious dis­eases depart­ment, told the ABC it was pos­si­ble for in­di­vid­u­als to in­hale vi­ral droplets from passers-by when jog­ging.

“With the droplet spread, we know that you need a fairly sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­ac­tion to be sus­cep­ti­ble to get­ting this and the pub­lic health def­i­ni­tion is 15 min­utes of face-to-face, or two hours in the same room.

Clearly, if you walk past some­one it’s a lot less than that,” As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Grif­fin said.

He added: “But hope­fully not enough to get in­fected.”

“What we don’t want is peo­ple (to) go out ex­er­cis­ing and con­gre­gate in a big group and spend time chat­ting or get a cof­fee or what­ever to­gether, which is a risk.”


Pic­ture: Sup­plied

CHOOSE SOLO: The risk of in­fec­tion while run­ning out­side is low, but it's still there.

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