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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19930, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462026

ABSTRACT

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by aerosols has played a significant role in the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe. Indoor environments with inadequate ventilation pose a serious infection risk. Whilst vaccines suppress transmission, they are not 100% effective and the risk from variants and new viruses always remains. Consequently, many efforts have focused on ways to disinfect air. One such method involves use of minimally hazardous 222 nm far-UVC light. Whilst a small number of controlled experimental studies have been conducted, determining the efficacy of this approach is difficult because chamber or room geometry, and the air flow within them, influences both far-UVC illumination and aerosol dwell times. Fortunately, computational multiphysics modelling allows the inadequacy of dose-averaged assessment of viral inactivation to be overcome in these complex situations. This article presents the first validation of the WYVERN radiation-CFD code for far-UVC air-disinfection against survival fraction measurements, and the first measurement-informed modelling approach to estimating far-UVC susceptibility of viruses in air. As well as demonstrating the reliability of the code, at circa 70% higher, our findings indicate that aerosolized human coronaviruses are significantly more susceptible to far-UVC than previously thought.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 229E, Human/radiation effects , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus OC43, Human/radiation effects , Disinfection/methods , Ultraviolet Rays , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , Aerosols/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus 229E, Human/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/isolation & purification , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Disinfection/instrumentation , Equipment Design , Humans , Models, Biological
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19910, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462025

ABSTRACT

Face masks are a primary preventive measure against airborne pathogens. Thus, they have become one of the keys to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Common examples, including N95 masks, surgical masks, and face coverings, are passive devices that minimize the spread of suspended pathogens by inserting an aerosol-filtering barrier between the user's nasal and oral cavities and the environment. However, the filtering process does not adapt to changing pathogen levels or other environmental factors, which reduces its effectiveness in real-world scenarios. This paper addresses the limitations of passive masks by proposing ADAPT, a smart IoT-enabled "active mask". This wearable device contains a real-time closed-loop control system that senses airborne particles of different sizes near the mask by using an on-board particulate matter (PM) sensor. It then intelligently mitigates the threat by using mist spray, generated by a piezoelectric actuator, to load nearby aerosol particles such that they rapidly fall to the ground. The system is controlled by an on-board micro-controller unit that collects sensor data, analyzes it, and activates the mist generator as necessary. A custom smartphone application enables the user to remotely control the device and also receive real-time alerts related to recharging, refilling, and/or decontamination of the mask before reuse. Experimental results on a working prototype confirm that aerosol clouds rapidly fall to the ground when the mask is activated, thus significantly reducing PM counts near the user. Also, usage of the mask significantly increases local relative humidity levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks , Particulate Matter/isolation & purification , Respiratory Protective Devices , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aerosols/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , Equipment Design , Filtration/instrumentation , Humans , Mobile Applications , Particle Size , Smart Materials/chemistry , Smartphone
3.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0258151, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443858

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Few studies have quantified aerosol concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals and long-term care homes, and fewer still have examined samples for viability. This information is needed to clarify transmission risks beyond close contact. METHODS: We deployed particulate air samplers in rooms with COVID-19 positive patients in hospital ward and ICU rooms, rooms in long-term care homes experiencing outbreaks, and a correctional facility experiencing an outbreak. Samplers were placed between 2 and 3 meters from the patient. Aerosol (small liquid particles suspended in air) samples were collected onto gelatin filters by Ultrasonic Personal Air Samplers (UPAS) fitted with <2.5µm (micrometer) and <10 µm size-selective inlets operated for 16 hours (total 1.92m3), and with a Coriolis Biosampler over 10 minutes (total 1.5m3). Samples were assayed for viable SARS-CoV-2 virus and for the viral genome by multiplex PCR using the E and N protein target sequences. We validated the sampling methods by inoculating gelatin filters with viable vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), and with three concentrations of viable SARS-CoV-2, operating personal samplers for 16hrs, and quantifying viable virus recovery by TCID50 assay. RESULTS: In total, 138 samples were collected from 99 rooms. RNA samples were positive in 9.1% (6/66) of samples obtained with the UPAS 2.5µm samplers, 13.5% (7/52) with the UPAS 10µm samplers, and 10.0% (2/20) samples obtained with the Coriolis samplers. Culturable virus was not recovered in any samples. Viral RNA was detected in 15.1% of the rooms sampled. There was no significant difference in viral RNA recovery between the different room locations or samplers. Method development experiments indicated minimal loss of SARS-CoV-2 viability via the personal air sampler operation.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Chlorocebus aethiops , Hospitals , Humans , Long-Term Care , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Vero Cells
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10187, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228269

ABSTRACT

The severe outbreak of respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 has increased the significant demand of respiratory mask and its use become ubiquitous worldwide to control this unprecedented respiratory pandemic. The performance of a respiratory mask depends on the efficiency of the filter layer which is mostly made of polypropylene melt blown non-woven (PP-MB-NW). So far, very limited characterization data are available for the PPE-MB-NW in terms to achieve desired particulate filtration efficiency (PFE) against 0.3 µm size, which are imperative in order to facilitate the right selection of PP-MB-NW fabric for the development of mask. In present study, eight different kinds of PP-MB-NW fabrics (Sample A-H) of varied structural morphology are chosen. The different PP-MB-NW were characterized for its pore size and distribution by mercury porosimeter and BET surface area analyzer was explored first time to understand the importance of blind pore in PFE. The PP-MB-NW samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy so as to know the surface morphology. The filtration efficiency, pressure drop and breathing resistance of various PP-MB-NW fabric samples are investigated in single and double layers combination against the particle size of 0.3, 0.5 and 1 µm. The samples which are having low pore dia, high solid fraction volume, and low air permeability has high filtration efficiency (> 90%) against 0.3 µm particle with high pressure drop (16.3-21.3 mm WC) and breathing resistance (1.42-1.92 mbar) when compared to rest of the samples. This study will pave the way for the judicial selection of right kind of filter layer i.e., PP-MB-NW fabric for the development of mask and it will be greatly helpful in manufacturing of mask in this present pandemic with desired PFE indicating considerable promise for defense against respiratory pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Filters , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Aerosols/isolation & purification , Air Filters/virology , Equipment Design , Humans , Masks/virology , Particle Size , Polypropylenes/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Textiles/virology
5.
Surg Innov ; 28(2): 226-230, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133526

ABSTRACT

Background. Exposure to infectious droplets confers a high risk for infection transmission by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Aerosolizing procedures pose particular concern for increasing healthcare workers' (HCWs) risks of infection. Multiple creative personal protective equipment solutions have been utilized to minimize exposure to infectious particles; however, the overall benefit of many of these devices is limited by a number of factors. Methods. We designed an intubation tent consisting of a metal frame and a clear plastic sheet. The flexible walls of our tent offer increased maneuverability & access, although the efficacy in reducing risk of transmission to HCWs remained unclear. Using an atomizer, particle generator, and matchstick smoke, we simulated the generation of infectious respiratory droplets and aerosols and tested whether our device effectively decreased the concentration of these particles to which a provider might be exposed. Finally, we tested whether the addition of a vacuum fan fit with a high efficiency particulate air filter designed to evacuate contaminated air would influence particle concentrations inside and outside the tent. Results. Droplet dispersion tests with the tent in place showed that the simulated droplet distribution was limited to surfaces within the tent. Aerosol testing under a variety of circumstances consistently showed only a minor rise in particle concentration in the air outside the tent despite an initial peak of particle concentration during generation within. All testing demonstrated declining inside concentrations over time. Conclusions. Our simulations suggest our device has the potential to effectively decrease HCWs' exposure to infectious droplets and aerosolized viral particles.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/isolation & purification , COVID-19/prevention & control , Intubation, Intratracheal , Personal Protective Equipment , Equipment Design , Health Personnel , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal/instrumentation , Intubation, Intratracheal/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Procedures, Operative/methods
7.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(2): 274-275, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-645687

ABSTRACT

The use of surgical sterilization wrap for respirator masks during the COVID-19 crisis has become a popularized personal protective equipment alternative option due to claims supporting its ability to meet N95 standards. This study sought to assess these claims using standardized filter testing. The tested material failed to meet N95 standards and suggests its use may place medical personnel at increased risk of harm when managing COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Equipment Design/adverse effects , Masks/virology , Materials Testing/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Protective Devices/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aerosols/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Equipment Design/standards , Health Personnel , Humans , Masks/standards , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Sterilization
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610769

ABSTRACT

We aerosolized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and determined that its dynamic aerosol efficiency surpassed those of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Although we performed experiment only once across several laboratories, our findings suggest retained infectivity and virion integrity for up to 16 hours in respirable-sized aerosols.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Suspensions/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Nat Med ; 26(5): 676-680, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-203367

ABSTRACT

We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Masks/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , Aerosols/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Exhalation/physiology , Humans , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , Orthomyxoviridae/pathogenicity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Respiratory Tract Infections/pathology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Virus Shedding
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