Coronavirus: can sweat transmit the virus? And is breastfeeding safe?

23 March 2020, 17:34

By Fiona Jones

Can sweat transmit the virus in the same way that sneezing and coughing can? Can nursing mothers breastfeed? LBC asks the experts.

Consultant virologist Chris Smith said, "The virus is transmitted from the sites where the virus grows.

"The site in which the virus grows is the respiratory tract so that means the nose and throat to a lower extent and the lungs to a greater extent. That's why coughs and sneezes in this context spreads diseases.

"As sweat is made in sweat glands and sweat glands make the sweat by filtering the liquid bit, the watery bit, away from blood, they're not in direct contact with the source of the virus - because this virus does not to an appreciable level go round in the blood stream."

"Therefore there should be only limited amounts of the virus in sweat for that is not a means of transmission.

"It's on those same grounds that we can assure ladies who are pregnant that they can safely breastfeed a baby. It's not going to get into breast milk in any kind of serious way, compared with the amount a nursing mother would be breathing the virus out any way."