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Article

SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission Indoors: A Closer Look at Viral Load, Infectivity, the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures and a Simple Approach for Practical Recommendations

1
Hermann-Rietschel-Institut, Technical University of Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
2
Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Robert Koch Institute, 13353 Berlin, Germany
3
Local Health Authority “Hamburg-Nord”, 20249 Hamburg, Germany
4
Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, 12203 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010220
Received: 11 November 2021 / Revised: 15 December 2021 / Accepted: 16 December 2021 / Published: 25 December 2021
There is uncertainty about the viral loads of infectious individuals required to transmit COVID-19 via aerosol. In addition, there is a lack of both quantification of the influencing parameters on airborne transmission and simple-to-use models for assessing the risk of infection in practice, which furthermore quantify the influence of non-medical preventive measures. In this study, a dose–response model was adopted to analyze 25 documented outbreaks at infection rates of 4–100%. We show that infection was only possible if the viral load was higher than 108 viral copies/mL. Based on mathematical simplifications of our approach to predict the probable situational attack rate (PARs) of a group of persons in a room, and valid assumptions, we provide simplified equations to calculate, among others, the maximum possible number of persons and the person-related virus-free air supply flow necessary to keep the number of newly infected persons to less than one. A comparison of different preventive measures revealed that testing contributes the most to the joint protective effect, besides wearing masks and increasing ventilation. In addition, we conclude that absolute volume flow rate or person-related volume flow rate are more intuitive parameters for evaluating ventilation for infection prevention than air exchange rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne transmission; infection prevention; risk assessment model; simplified approaches; SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission; infection prevention; risk assessment model; simplified approaches; SARS-CoV-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kriegel, M.; Hartmann, A.; Buchholz, U.; Seifried, J.; Baumgarte, S.; Gastmeier, P. SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission Indoors: A Closer Look at Viral Load, Infectivity, the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures and a Simple Approach for Practical Recommendations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010220

AMA Style

Kriegel M, Hartmann A, Buchholz U, Seifried J, Baumgarte S, Gastmeier P. SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission Indoors: A Closer Look at Viral Load, Infectivity, the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures and a Simple Approach for Practical Recommendations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(1):220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010220

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kriegel, Martin, Anne Hartmann, Udo Buchholz, Janna Seifried, Sigrid Baumgarte, and Petra Gastmeier. 2022. "SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission Indoors: A Closer Look at Viral Load, Infectivity, the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures and a Simple Approach for Practical Recommendations" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 1: 220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010220

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