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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab ; 46(7): 753-762, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571437


We sought to determine the impact of wearing cloth or surgical masks on the cardiopulmonary responses to moderate-intensity exercise. Twelve subjects (n = 5 females) completed three, 8-min cycling trials while breathing through a non-rebreathing valve (laboratory control), cloth, or surgical mask. Heart rate (HR), oxyhemoglobin saturation (SpO2), breathing frequency, mouth pressure, partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide (PetCO2) and oxygen (PetO2), dyspnea were measured throughout exercise. A subset of n = 6 subjects completed an additional exercise bout without a mask (ecological control). There were no differences in breathing frequency, HR or SpO2 across conditions (all p > 0.05). Compared with the laboratory control (4.7 ± 0.9 cmH2O [mean ± SD]), mouth pressure swings were smaller with the surgical mask (0.9 ± 0.7; p < 0.0001), but similar with the cloth mask (3.6 ± 4.8 cmH2O; p = 0.66). Wearing a cloth mask decreased PetO2 (-3.5 ± 3.7 mm Hg) and increased PetCO2 (+2.0 ± 1.3 mm Hg) relative to the ecological control (both p < 0.05). There were no differences in end-tidal gases between mask conditions and laboratory control (both p > 0.05). Dyspnea was similar between the control conditions and the surgical mask (p > 0.05) but was greater with the cloth mask compared with laboratory (+0.9 ± 1.2) and ecological (+1.5 ± 1.3) control conditions (both p < 0.05). Wearing a mask during short-term moderate-intensity exercise may increase dyspnea but has minimal impact on the cardiopulmonary response. Novelty: Wearing surgical or cloth masks during exercise has no impact on breathing frequency, tidal volume, oxygenation, and heart rate However, there are some changes in inspired and expired gas fractions that are physiologically irrelevant. In young healthy individuals, wearing surgical or cloth masks during submaximal exercise has few physiological consequences.

Exercise/physiology , Heart Rate , Masks , Oxyhemoglobins/metabolism , Respiratory Rate , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Dioxide/physiology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Equipment Design , Exercise Test , Face , Female , Humans , Male , Mouth/physiology , Oxygen/physiology , Partial Pressure , Pressure , Skin Temperature , Tidal Volume , Young Adult
Indoor Air ; 31(6): 1896-1912, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322740


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to improve understanding of droplet transport during expiratory emissions. While historical emphasis has been placed on violent events such as coughing and sneezing, the recognition of asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread has identified the need to consider other modalities, such as speaking. Accurate prediction of infection risk produced by speaking requires knowledge of both the droplet size distributions that are produced, as well as the expiratory flow fields that transport the droplets into the surroundings. This work demonstrates that the expiratory flow field produced by consonant productions is highly unsteady, exhibiting extremely broad inter- and intra-consonant variability, with mean ejection angles varying from ≈+30° to -30°. Furthermore, implementation of a physical mouth model to quantify the expiratory flow fields for fricative pronunciation of [f] and [θ] demonstrates that flow velocities at the lips are higher than previously predicted, reaching 20-30 m/s, and that the resultant trajectories are unstable. Because both large and small droplet transport are directly influenced by the magnitude and trajectory of the expirated air stream, these findings indicate that prior investigations of the flow dynamics during speech have largely underestimated the fluid penetration distances that can be achieved for particular consonant utterances.

Aerosols , Air Pollution, Indoor , Mouth/physiology , Speech/physiology , COVID-19 , Humans , Research Subjects , SARS-CoV-2