Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jul 29;748:141324. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141324. Online ahead of print.
On December 31, 2019, the novel human coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China and swiftly spread in all nations and territories around the globe. There is much debate about the major route of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmissions. So, more evidence is required to determine the potential pathway of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 including airborne transmission. Therefore, we examined the potential aerosol transmission of the virus through hospital wards indoor air by confirmed COVID-19 patients on May 7, 2020. In order to capture airborne SARS-CoV-2, the liquid impinger biosampler was used to take fourteen air samples in different wards of the indoor air of the hospital. The specific primer and probe real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were applied to detect viral genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in positive air samples. Accordingly, we found two positive air samples (in the ICU) out of 14 ones taken from different wards with confirmed COVID-19 patients. The results revealed the possibility of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 though more studies are required to determine the role of actual mechanisms such as cough, sneeze, normal breathing and speaking in the emission of airborne size carrier aerosols. Likewise, more quantitative analyses are needed to estimate airborne viability of SARS-CoV-2 in the carrier aerosols.