How Far Can Sneeze Droplets Travel in the Air?

Did you know that an unrestricted sneeze can travel at up to 200 mph? We demonstrate the importance of covering your mouth while sneezing.

It's common knowledge that sneezes and coughs spread germs, but just how far can some of those tiny droplets travel in the air?

Using a giant sheet of a white paper, a tape measure and a special, non-toxic, glow-in-the-dark spray, Inside Edition set up a demonstration.

On one side, with the help of spray bottle, producer Katie Taylor imitates a sneeze towards a subject, producer Charlie McLravy, who is suited up in protective gear and standing four feet away. The tiny neon droplets fly out and splatter him — under a black light, the suit and his protective face gear are filled with glowing droplets.

Another demo from eight feet away produces similar results, although with less splatter.

According to experts, unrestricted sneezes can travel up to 200 mph. 

In an office setting, that could translate into some sneezes and coughs reaching eight desks away, said Dr. Jack Caravanos, a professor of environmental public health sciences at New York University.

The World Health Organization advises the public to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then wash or sanitize their hands. If a tissue is not available, they recommend covering your mouth as much as possible with the crook of your elbow.