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Correction published on 9 November 2021, see Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11738.
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Minimum Sizes of Respiratory Particles Carrying SARS-CoV-2 and the Possibility of Aerosol Generation

Aerosol and Bioengineering Laboratory, College of Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 6960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196960
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 21 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020 / Corrected: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Generations in Working Environments)
This study calculates and elucidates the minimum size of respiratory particles that are potential carriers of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); furthermore, it evaluates the aerosol generation potential of SARS-CoV-2. The calculations are based on experimental results and theoretical models. In the case of maximum viral-loading derived from experimental data of COVID-19 patients, 8.97 × 10−5% of a respiratory fluid particle from a COVID-19 patient is occupied by SARS-CoV-2. Hence, the minimum size of a respiratory particle that can contain SARS-CoV-2 is calculated to be approximately 9.3 μm. The minimum size of the particles can decrease due to the evaporation of water on the particle surfaces. There are limitations to this analysis: (a) assumption that the viruses are homogeneously distributed in respiratory fluid particles and (b) considering a gene copy as a single virion in unit conversions. However, the study shows that high viral loads can decrease the minimum size of respiratory particles containing SARS-CoV-2, thereby increasing the probability of aerosol generation of the viruses. The aerosol generation theory created in this study for COVID-19 has the potential to be applied to other contagious diseases that are caused by respiratory infectious microorganisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus; bioaerosol; aerosol; aerosol transmission; droplet; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; virus transmission; airborne transmission; SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosol; air infection; viral infection; MERS; nosocomial infection; respiratory particle; SARS; minimum size; aerosol suspension time; contagious disease COVID-19; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus; bioaerosol; aerosol; aerosol transmission; droplet; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; virus transmission; airborne transmission; SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosol; air infection; viral infection; MERS; nosocomial infection; respiratory particle; SARS; minimum size; aerosol suspension time; contagious disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, B.U. Minimum Sizes of Respiratory Particles Carrying SARS-CoV-2 and the Possibility of Aerosol Generation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6960. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196960

AMA Style

Lee BU. Minimum Sizes of Respiratory Particles Carrying SARS-CoV-2 and the Possibility of Aerosol Generation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(19):6960. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196960

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Byung Uk. 2020. "Minimum Sizes of Respiratory Particles Carrying SARS-CoV-2 and the Possibility of Aerosol Generation" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 19: 6960. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196960

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