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      Investigating a safe ventilation rate for the prevention of indoor SARS transmission: An attempt based on a simulation approach

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          Abstract

          This paper identifies the “safe ventilation rate” for eliminating airborne viral infection and preventing cross-infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in a hospital-based setting. We used simulation approaches to reproduce three actual cases where groups of hospital occupants reported to be either infected or not infected when SARS patients were hospitalized in nearby rooms. Simulations using both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and multi-zone models were carried out to understand the dilution level of SARS virus-laden aerosols during these scenarios. We also conducted a series of measurements to validate the simulations. The ventilation rates (dilution level) for infection and non-infection were determined based on these scenarios. The safe ventilation rate for eliminating airborne viral infection is to dilute the air emitted from a SARS patient by 10000 times with clean air. Dilution at lower volumes, specifically 1000 times, is insufficient for protecting non-infected people from SARS exposure and the risk of infection is very high. This study provides a methodology for investigating the necessary ventilation rate from an engineering viewpoint.

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          Most cited references12

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          Characterization of a novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

          P Rota (2003)
          In March 2003, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was discovered in association with cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The sequence of the complete genome of SARS-CoV was determined, and the initial characterization of the viral genome is presented in this report. The genome of SARS-CoV is 29,727 nucleotides in length and has 11 open reading frames, and its genome organization is similar to that of other coronaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses and sequence comparisons showed that SARS-CoV is not closely related to any of the previously characterized coronaviruses.
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            Characterization of expiration air jets and droplet size distributions immediately at the mouth opening

            Size distributions of expiratory droplets expelled during coughing and speaking and the velocities of the expiration air jets of healthy volunteers were measured. Droplet size was measured using the interferometric Mie imaging (IMI) technique while the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique was used for measuring air velocity. These techniques allowed measurements in close proximity to the mouth and avoided air sampling losses. The average expiration air velocity was 11.7 m/s for coughing and 3.9 m/s for speaking. Under the experimental setting, evaporation and condensation effects had negligible impact on the measured droplet size. The geometric mean diameter of droplets from coughing was 13.5 μm and it was 16.0 μm for speaking (counting 1–100). The estimated total number of droplets expelled ranged from 947 to 2085 per cough and 112–6720 for speaking. The estimated droplet concentrations for coughing ranged from 2.4 to 5.2 cm−3 per cough and 0.004–0.223 cm−3 for speaking.
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              Transport Properties of Two-Phase Materials with Random Structure

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                jiangyi@tsinghua.edu.cn
                Journal
                Build Simul
                Build Simul
                Building Simulation
                Tsinghua Press (Heidelberg )
                1996-3599
                1996-8744
                4 December 2009
                2009
                : 2
                : 4
                : 281-289
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.12527.33, ISNI 0000000106623178, Department of Building Science, School of Architecture, , Tsinghua University, ; Beijing, 100084 China
                Article
                9325
                10.1007/s12273-009-9325-7
                7091190
                32218907
                88aa85a5-5fb8-4da0-ae96-db43e16ac99f
                © Tsinghua University Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                History
                : 14 August 2009
                : 1 November 2009
                : 2 November 2009
                Categories
                Research Article / Indoor/Outdoor Airflow and Air Quality
                Custom metadata
                © Tsinghua University Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

                sars,ventilation rate,simulation,infection
                sars, ventilation rate, simulation, infection

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