Aerosol particles of COVID-19 travel over 30m distance

Dr Gorbunov publishes a paper outlining diffusivity of Covid-19 aerosol particles and the effectiveness of personal protective equipment in protection against contamination of the virus.

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Effects of the convection flow, atmospheric diffusivity and humidity on evolution and travel distances of exhaled aerosol clouds by an infected person are considered. The aim of this work is to evaluate the importance of aerosol transmission routes and the effectiveness of the 2-metre separation distance policy. A potential impact of use of face masks on the infection transmission rate, and an opportunity to reduce infection in hospitals, care homes and other public spaces by appropriate monitoring and filtering of air are also considered.

The results obtained demonstrate that aerosol particles generated by coughing and sneezing can travel over 30 m. Modelling of the evolution of aerosol clouds generated by coughing and sneezing enables us to evaluate the deposition dose of aerosol particles in healthy individuals. For example, a person in a public place (e.g. supermarket or car park) can accumulate in the respiratory system up to 200 virus copies in 2 min time by breathing in virus laden aerosols. Wearing face mask considerably reduces the deposited load down to 2 virus copies per 2 min. The modelling also suggests that it should be possible to measure Covid-19 within aerosol particles in hospitals and public places, e.g. care homes and supermarkets.

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