Risk assessment of airborne transmission of COVID-19 by asymptomatic individuals under different practical settings

Siyao Shao, Dezhi Zhou, Ruichen He, Jiaqi Li, Shufan Zou, Kevin Mallery, Santosh Kumar, Suo Yang, Jiarong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The lack of quantitative risk assessment of airborne transmission of COVID-19 under practical settings leads to large uncertainties and inconsistencies in our preventive measures. Combining in situ measurements and computational fluid dynamics simulations, we quantify the exhaled particles from normal respiratory behaviors and their transport under elevator, small classroom, and supermarket settings to evaluate the risk of inhaling potentially virus-containing particles. Our results show that the design of ventilation is critical for reducing the risk of particle encounters. Inappropriate design can significantly limit the efficiency of particle removal, create local hot spots with orders of magnitude higher risks, and enhance particle deposition causing surface contamination. Additionally, our measurements reveal the presence of a substantial fraction of faceted particles from normal breathing and its strong correlation with breathing depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105661
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Volume151
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Airborne transmission
  • Digital inline holography
  • Exhaled particles
  • Particle contamination
  • Ventilation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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