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1.
Arh Hig Rada Toksikol ; 73(4): 270-276, 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310408

ABSTRACT

Even though ozone has shown its potential for air disinfection in hospital environment, its more frequent use has earned attention only with the COVID-19 pandemic due to its proven antimicrobial effect and low cost of production. The aim of this study was to determine its antimicrobial efficiency against the most common bacterial species in a real-life setting, that is, in the air of one postoperative room of the General Hospital Dr Ivo Pedisic (Sisak, Croatia). Air was sampled for aiborne bacteria before and after treatment with the ozone concentration of 15.71 mg/m3 for one hour. The most dominant Gram-positive bacteria of the genera Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus were reduced by 33 %, 58 %, and 61 %, respectively. The genus Micrococcus proved to be the most resistant. Considering our findings, we recommend longer air treatment with higher ozone concentrations in combination with mechanical cleaning and frequent ventilation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ozone , Humans , Disinfection , Pandemics , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Bacteria , Hospitals
2.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 234: 115356, 2023 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310195

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic ignited massive research into the rapid detection of bioaerosols. In particular, nanotechnology-based detection strategies are proposed as alternatives because of issues in bioaerosol enrichment and lead time for molecular diagnostics; however, the practical implementation of such techniques is still unclear due to obstacles regarding the large research and development effort and investment for the validation. The use of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence (expressed as relative luminescence unit (RLU) per unit volume of air) of airborne particulate matter (PM) to determine the bacterial population as a representative of the total bioaerosols (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) has been raised frequently because of the high reponse speed, resolution, and compatibility with culture-based bioaerosol monitoring. On the other hand, additional engineering attempts are required to confer significance because of the size-classified (bioluminescence for different PM sizes) and specific (bioluminescence per unit PM mass) biological risks of air for providing proper interventions in the case of airborne transmission. In this study, disc-type impactors to cut-off aerosols larger than 1 µm, 2.5 µm, and 10 µm were designed and constructed to collect PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 on sampling swabs. This engineering enabled reliable size-classified bioluminescence signals using a commercial ATP luminometer after just 5 min of air intake. The simultaneous operations of a six-stage Andersen impactor and optical PM spectrometers were conducted to determine the correlations between the resulting RLU and colony forming unit (CFU; from the Andersen impactor) or PM mass concentration (deriving specific bioluminescence).


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Humans , Adenosine Triphosphate/analysis , Pandemics , Air Microbiology , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Bacteria , Fungi , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Particle Size
3.
Molecules ; 28(8)2023 Apr 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304471

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to assess the markers of chemical and microbiological contamination of the air at sport centers (e.g., the fitness center in Poland) including the determination of particulate matter, CO2, formaldehyde (DustTrak™ DRX Aerosol Monitor; Multi-functional Air Quality Detector), volatile organic compound (VOC) concentration (headspace solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry), the number of microorganisms in the air (culture methods), and microbial biodiversity (high-throughput sequencing on the Illumina platform). Additionally the number of microorganisms and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (PCR) on the surfaces was determined. Total particle concentration varied between 0.0445 mg m-3 and 0.0841 mg m-3 with the dominance (99.65-99.99%) of the PM2.5 fraction. The CO2 concentration ranged from 800 ppm to 2198 ppm, while the formaldehyde concentration was from 0.005 mg/m3 to 0.049 mg m-3. A total of 84 VOCs were identified in the air collected from the gym. Phenol, D-limonene, toluene, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol dominated in the air at the tested facilities. The average daily number of bacteria was 7.17 × 102 CFU m-3-1.68 × 103 CFU m-3, while the number of fungi was 3.03 × 103 CFU m-3-7.34 × 103 CFU m-3. In total, 422 genera of bacteria and 408 genera of fungi representing 21 and 11 phyla, respectively, were detected in the gym. The most abundant bacteria and fungi (>1%) that belonged to the second and third groups of health hazards were: Escherichia-Shigella, Corynebacterium, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. In addition, other species that may be allergenic (Epicoccum) or infectious (Acinetobacter, Sphingomonas, Sporobolomyces) were present in the air. Moreover, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected on surfaces in the gym. The monitoring proposal for the assessment of the air quality at a sport center includes the following markers: total particle concentration with the PM2.5 fraction, CO2 concentration, VOCs (phenol, toluene, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol), and the number of bacteria and fungi.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Mitosporic Fungi , Occupational Exposure , Occupational Exposure/analysis , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Fungi , Bacteria , Particulate Matter/analysis , Phenols/analysis , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , Environmental Monitoring
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(5)2023 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2269462

ABSTRACT

Biosafety laboratory is an important place to study high-risk microbes. In biosafety laboratories, with the outbreak of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, experimental activities have become increasingly frequent, and the risk of exposure to bioaerosols has increased. To explore the exposure risk of biosafety laboratories, the intensity and emission characteristics of laboratory risk factors were investigated. In this study, high-risk microbe samples were substituted with Serratia marcescens as the model bacteria. The resulting concentration and particle size segregation of the bioaerosol produced by three experimental procedures (spill, injection, and sample drop) were monitored, and the emission sources' intensity were quantitatively analyzed. The results showed that the aerosol concentration produced by injection and sample drop was 103 CFU/m3, and that by sample spill was 102 CFU/m3. The particle size of bioaerosol is mainly segregated in the range of 3.3-4.7 µm. There are significant differences in the influence of risk factors on source intensity. The intensity of sample spill, injection, and sample drop source is 3.6 CFU/s, 78.2 CFU/s, and 664 CFU/s. This study could provide suggestions for risk assessment of experimental operation procedures and experimental personnel protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Laboratories , Humans , Containment of Biohazards , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Risk Factors , Air Microbiology
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(3)2023 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2225189

ABSTRACT

The risk of microbial air contamination in a dental setting, especially during aerosol-generating dental procedures (AGDPs), has long been recognized, becoming even more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, individual pathogens were rarely studied, and microbial loads were measured heterogeneously, often using low-sensitivity methods. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess microbial air contamination in the dental environment, identify the microorganisms involved, and determine their count by active air sampling at the beginning (T0), during (T1), and at the end (T2) of ultrasonic scaling in systemically and periodontally healthy subjects. Air microbial contamination was detected at T0 in all samples, regardless of whether the sample was collected from patients treated first or later; predominantly Gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus and Bacillus spp. and a minority of fungi, were identified. The number of bacterial colonies at T1 was higher, although the species found were similar to that found during the T0 sampling, whereby Gram-positive bacteria, mainly Streptococcus spp., were identified. Air samples collected at T2 showed a decrease in bacterial load compared to the previous sampling. Further research should investigate the levels and patterns of the microbial contamination of air, people, and the environment in dental settings via ultrasonic scaling and other AGDPs and identify the microorganisms involved to perform the procedure- and patient-related risk assessment and provide appropriate recommendations for aerosol infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ultrasonics , Humans , Healthy Volunteers , Pandemics , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Air Microbiology , Colony Count, Microbial
7.
Int J Hyg Environ Health ; 248: 114120, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2210456

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Droplets or aerosols loaded with SARS-CoV-2 can be released during breathing, coughing, or sneezing from COVID-19-infected persons. To investigate whether the most commonly applied air-cleaning device in dental clinics, the oral spray suction machine (OSSM), can provide protection to healthcare providers working in clinics against exposure to bioaerosols during dental treatment. METHOD: In this study, we measured and characterized the temporal and spatial variations in bioaerosol concentration and deposition with and without the use of the OSSM using an experimental design in a dental clinic setting. Serratia marcescens (a bacterium) and ΦX174 phage (a virus) were used as tracers. The air sampling points were sampled using an Anderson six-stage sampler, and the surface-deposition sampling points were sampled using the natural sedimentation method. The Computational Fluid Dynamics method was adopted to simulate and visualize the effect of the OSSM on the concentration spatial distribution. RESULTS: During dental treatment, the peak exposure concentration increased by up to 2-3 orders of magnitude (PFU/m3) for healthcare workers. Meanwhile, OSSM could lower the mean bioaerosol exposure concentration from 58.84 PFU/m3 to 4.10 PFU/m3 for a healthcare worker, thereby inhibiting droplet and airborne transmission. In terms of deposition, OSSM significantly reduced the bioaerosol surface concentration from 28.1 PFU/m3 to 2.5 PFU/m3 for a surface, effectively preventing fomite transmission. CONCLUSION: The use of OSSM showed the potential to restraint the spread of bioaerosols in clinical settings. Our study demonstrates that OSSM use in dental clinics can reduce the exposure concentrations of bioaerosols for healthcare workers during dental treatment and is beneficial for minimizing the risk of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Air Microbiology , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Bacteria
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e20699, 2021 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Daily new COVID-19 cases from January to April 2020 demonstrate varying patterns of SARS-CoV-2 transmission across different geographical regions. Constant infection rates were observed in some countries, whereas China and South Korea had a very low number of daily new cases. In fact, China and South Korea successfully and quickly flattened their COVID-19 curve. To understand why this was the case, this paper investigated possible aerosol-forming patterns in the atmosphere and their relationship to the policy measures adopted by select countries. OBJECTIVE: The main research objective was to compare the outcomes of policies adopted by countries between January and April 2020. Policies included physical distancing measures that in some cases were associated with mask use and city disinfection. We investigated whether the type of social distancing framework adopted by some countries (ie, without mask use and city disinfection) led to the continual dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 (daily new cases) in the community during the study period. METHODS: We examined the policies used as a preventive framework for virus community transmission in some countries and compared them to the policies adopted by China and South Korea. Countries that used a policy of social distancing by 1-2 m were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of countries that implemented social distancing (1-2 m) only, and the second comprised China and South Korea, which implemented distancing with additional transmission/isolation measures using masks and city disinfection. Global daily case maps from Johns Hopkins University were used to provide time-series data for the analysis. RESULTS: The results showed that virus transmission was reduced due to policies affecting SARS-CoV-2 propagation over time. Remarkably, China and South Korea obtained substantially better results than other countries at the beginning of the epidemic due to their adoption of social distancing (1-2 m) with the additional use of masks and sanitization (city disinfection). These measures proved to be effective due to the atmosphere carrier potential of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that social distancing by 1-2 m with mask use and city disinfection yields positive outcomes. These strategies should be incorporated into prevention and control policies and be adopted both globally and by individuals as a method to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Disinfection , Global Health , Humans , Masks , Physical Distancing , Policy Making , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1258-1265, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports. METHODS: Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients' clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed. RESULTS: All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients' mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Fomites/virology , Infection Control/methods , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
12.
13.
Sensors (Basel) ; 22(17)2022 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2006171

ABSTRACT

Several pathogens that spread through the air are highly contagious, and related infectious diseases are more easily transmitted through airborne transmission under indoor conditions, as observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indoor air contaminated by microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, or by derived pathogenic substances, can endanger human health. Thus, identifying and analyzing the potential pathogens residing in the air are crucial to preventing disease and maintaining indoor air quality. Here, we applied deep learning technology to analyze and predict the toxicity of bacteria in indoor air. We trained the ProtBert model on toxic bacterial and virulence factor proteins and applied them to predict the potential toxicity of some bacterial species by analyzing their protein sequences. The results reflect the results of the in vitro analysis of their toxicity in human cells. The in silico-based simulation and the obtained results demonstrated that it is plausible to find possible toxic sequences in unknown protein sequences.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Air Microbiology , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , Bacteria , Fungi , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results
14.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf ; 241: 113740, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1944829

ABSTRACT

Air and surface contamination of the SARS-CoV-2 have been reported by multiple studies. However, the evidence is limited for the change of environmental contamination of this virus in the surrounding of patients with COVID-19 at different time points during the course of disease and under different conditions of the patients. Therefore, this study aims to understand the risk factors associated with the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 through the period when the patients were staying in the isolation wards. In this study, COVID-19 patients admitted to the isolation wards were followed up for up to 10 days for daily collection of air and surface samples in their surroundings. The positivity rate of the environmental samples at different locations was plotted, and multiple multi-level mixed-effect logistic regressions were used to examine the association between the positivity of environmental samples and their daily health conditions and environmental factors. It found 6.6 % of surface samples (133/2031 samples) and 2.1 % of air samples (22/1075 samples) were positive, and the positivity rate reached to peak during 2-3 days after admission to the ward. The virus was more likely to present at bedrail, patients' personal items and medical equipment, while less likely to be detected in the air outside the range of 2 m from the patients. It also revealed that higher positivity rate is associated with lower environmental temperature, fever and cough at the day of sampling, lower Ct values of latest test for respiratory tract samples, and pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions. The finding can be used to guide the hospital infection control strategies by identifying high-risk areas and patients. Extra personal hygiene precautions and equipment for continuously environmental disinfection can be used for these high-risk areas and patients to reduce the risk of hospital infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection , Environment , Equipment Contamination , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(10)2022 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855636

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease pandemic has afforded dental professionals an opportunity to reconsider infection control during treatment. We investigated the efficacy of combining extraoral high-volume evacuators (eHVEs) with preprocedural mouth rinsing in reducing aerosol contamination by ultrasonic scalers. A double-masked, two-group, crossover randomized clinical trial was conducted over eight weeks. A total of 10 healthy subjects were divided into two groups; they received 0.5% povidone-iodine (PI), essential oil (EO), or water as preprocedural rinse. Aerosols produced during ultrasonic scaling were collected from the chest area (PC), dentist's mask, dentist's chest area (DC), bracket table, and assistant's area. Bacterial contamination was assessed using colony counting and adenosine triphosphate assays. With the eHVE 10 cm away from the mouth, bacterial contamination by aerosols was negligible. With the eHVE 20 cm away, more dental aerosols containing bacteria were detected at the DC and PC. Mouth rinsing decreased viable bacterial count by 31-38% (PI) and 22-33% (EO), compared with no rinsing. The eHVE prevents bacterial contamination when close to the patient's mouth. Preprocedural mouth rinsing can reduce bacterial contamination where the eHVE is positioned away from the mouth, depending on the procedure. Combining an eHVE with preprocedural mouth rinsing can reduce bacterial contamination in dental offices.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents, Local , Mouthwashes , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , Anti-Infective Agents, Local/therapeutic use , Bacteria , Humans , Mouthwashes/therapeutic use , Ultrasonics
16.
BMJ ; 377: o976, 2022 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788946
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760587

ABSTRACT

Indoor air quality in hospital operating rooms is of great concern for the prevention of surgical site infections (SSI). A wide range of relevant medical and engineering literature has shown that the reduction in air contamination can be achieved by introducing a more efficient set of controls of HVAC systems and exploiting alarms and monitoring systems that allow having a clear report of the internal air status level. In this paper, an operating room air quality monitoring system based on a fuzzy decision support system has been proposed in order to help hospital staff responsible to guarantee a safe environment. The goal of the work is to reduce the airborne contamination in order to optimize the surgical environment, thus preventing the occurrence of SSI and reducing the related mortality rate. The advantage of FIS is that the evaluation of the air quality is based on easy-to-find input data established on the best combination of parameters and level of alert. Compared to other literature works, the proposed approach based on the FIS has been designed to take into account also the movement of clinicians in the operating room in order to monitor unauthorized paths. The test of the proposed strategy has been executed by exploiting data collected by ad-hoc sensors placed inside a real operating block during the experimental activities of the "Bacterial Infections Post Surgery" Project (BIPS). Results show that the system is capable to return risk values with extreme precision.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , Operating Rooms , Air Conditioning , Air Microbiology , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , Humans , Surgical Wound Infection/prevention & control
18.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
19.
Indoor Air ; 32(2): e13000, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714194

ABSTRACT

The ability to model the dispersion of pathogens in exhaled breath is important for characterizing transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other respiratory pathogens. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of droplet and aerosol emission during exhalations has been developed and for the first time compared directly with experimental data for the dispersion of respiratory and oral bacteria from ten subjects coughing, speaking, and singing in a small unventilated room. The modeled exhalations consist of a warm, humid, gaseous carrier flow and droplets represented by a discrete Lagrangian particle phase which incorporates saliva composition. The simulations and experiments both showed greater deposition of bacteria within 1 m of the subject, and the potential for a substantial number of bacteria to remain airborne, with no clear difference in airborne concentration of small bioaerosols (<10 µm diameter) between 1 and 2 m. The agreement between the model and the experimental data for bacterial deposition directly in front of the subjects was encouraging given the uncertainties in model input parameters and the inherent variability within and between subjects. The ability to predict airborne microbial dispersion and deposition gives confidence in the ability to model the consequences of an exhalation and hence the airborne transmission of respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets/virology , COVID-19/transmission , Cough , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Indoor Air ; 32(2): e12989, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714193

ABSTRACT

To optimize strategies for curbing the transmission of airborne pathogens, the efficacy of three key controls-face masks, ventilation, and physical distancing-must be well understood. In this study, we used the Quadrature-based model of Respiratory Aerosol and Droplets to quantify the reduction in exposure to airborne pathogens from various combinations of controls. For each combination of controls, we simulated thousands of scenarios that represent the tremendous variability in factors governing airborne transmission and the efficacy of mitigation strategies. While the efficacy of any individual control was highly variable among scenarios, combining universal mask-wearing with distancing of 1 m or more reduced the median exposure by more than 99% relative to a close, unmasked conversation, with further reductions if ventilation is also enhanced. The large reductions in exposure to airborne pathogens translated to large reductions in the risk of initial infection in a new host. These findings suggest that layering controls is highly effective for reducing transmission of airborne pathogens and will be critical for curbing outbreaks of novel viruses in the future.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Aerosols , Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation
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