Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 May 25. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-14519-9. Online ahead of print.
The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into uncharted territory, leaving people feeling helpless in the face of an invisible threat of unknown duration that could adversely impact the national economic growths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the SARS-CoV-2 spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the mouth or nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 through aerosols remains unclear. In this study, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) is used to complement the investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission through aerosol. The Lagrangian particle tracking method was used to analyze the dispersion of the exhaled particles from a SARS-CoV-2-positive patient under different exhale activities and different flow rates of chilled (cooling) air supply. Air sampling of the SARS-CoV-2 patient ward was conducted for 48-h measurement intervals to collect the indoor air sample for particulate with diameter less than 2.5 μm. Then, the reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was conducted to analyze the collected air sample. The simulation demonstrated that the aerosol transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an enclosed room (such as a hospital ward) is highly possible.