People are unable to determine communicable by coughing

American scientists have found that people without medical training can not determine the infectiousness of the disease for cough and how people sneeze. Participants in all three experiments was determined the cause of the sounds heard correctly less than 50 percent of cases, which is below the level of accidental exposure. How disgusting sound seemed to the man, helped him correctly identify an infectious disease, but hindered to identify common, non-infectious cough: the fact that such sounds seem to be disgusting people, makes them believe that any cough is contagious, making it difficult to assess the real cause, write the scientists in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Infectious diseases are dangerous enough from the point of view of mortality and despite the development of medicine, including preventive, the most effective way of protection is still not Contracting at all. To make it simple enough, if not to contact with patients, but to determine whether the person is sick, it may be a little more complicated, although quite conspicuous sign to others can be a cough and runny nose.

At the same time and a cough, and a runny nose — not necessarily the symptoms of an infectious disease: to first can cause discomfort in the throat (such as dryness), and the other may be a symptom of allergies, which, of course, is not transmitted by airborne droplets. Of course, the cough, for example, depending on the reasons that caused it, it sounds different — but it is not clear, can people reliably distinguish one species from another and, consequently, to protect yourself from possible contamination.

Check it decided Michalak Nicholas (Nicholas Michalak) from the University of Michigan. They asked 165 participants in his experiment to listen to short recordings of people coughing and decide whether it is heard coughing or sneezing a symptom of infectious diseases and to assess their confidence on a scale from 1 to 9. None of the participants had no hearing problems, and none of them gone through any medical training.

The participants correctly guessed the cause of cough in 45% of cases, which is less than the level of guessing: from this, scientists concluded that to determine the presence of infectious diseases in humans by coughing, the participants can not — although the participants of the precision of its determination was assessed at six points. It was found that the participants who confidently spoke about non-communicable non-infectious cause of cough was significantly less (p < 0.001) more accurate in their responses — based on this scientists have suggested that the cause of the coughing people may judge on some other grounds (such as emotions) and to be quite biased.

In order to test this, the researchers conducted another experiment, which was attended by 150 people: for them, the task was exactly the same as in the first experiment, with the exception that also, they had to evaluate how, in their opinion, the sound seems to them disgusting. Participants correctly identify cough only 42 percent of cases, which is also below the level of guessing. How disgusting it seemed the sound of the participants did not affect how accurately they have identified the cause of the coughing or sneezing as a whole; at the same time, how disgusting it seemed to participants that is infectious cough, and helped them to correctly assess the cause (in the case of non-infectious cough is not working).

Finally, in the third experiment, the scientists decided to reproduce the results of the second experiment, adding a control condition: half of the 224 participants had to rate the ugliness of coughing, and the other half is how well a cough is heard. Participants correctly identified the cause of cough in 43% of cases and is also best determined by an infectious cough in case if he seemed to be disgusting, but non-infectious cough is worse.

The authors concluded that people apparently are unable to determine whether contagious person coughing, he coughs, or the way he sneezes. The participants heard sounds were hideous: despite the fact that it increases the likelihood that they correctly identify infectious cough, it’s reduced the likelihood that they would correctly determine the cough of a different origin. In other words, any cough seemed to the participants a possible symptom of the disease, mainly because disgusted.

But on the face of the people identify a sick person can — and quite successfully and without any medical training: in this experiment at the beginning of 2018 showed the Swedish scientists.

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