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Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals.
Nature. 2020 06; 582(7813):557-560.Nat

Abstract

The ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly on a global scale. Although it is clear that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted through human respiratory droplets and direct contact, the potential for aerosol transmission is poorly understood1-3. Here we investigated the aerodynamic nature of SARS-CoV-2 by measuring viral RNA in aerosols in different areas of two Wuhan hospitals during the outbreak of COVID-19 in February and March 2020. The concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols that was detected in isolation wards and ventilated patient rooms was very low, but it was higher in the toilet areas used by the patients. Levels of airborne SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the most public areas was undetectable, except in two areas that were prone to crowding; this increase was possibly due to individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the crowd. We found that some medical staff areas initially had high concentrations of viral RNA with aerosol size distributions that showed peaks in the submicrometre and/or supermicrometre regions; however, these levels were reduced to undetectable levels after implementation of rigorous sanitization procedures. Although we have not established the infectivity of the virus detected in these hospital areas, we propose that SARS-CoV-2 may have the potential to be transmitted through aerosols. Our results indicate that room ventilation, open space, sanitization of protective apparel, and proper use and disinfection of toilet areas can effectively limit the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols. Future work should explore the infectivity of aerosolized virus.

Authors+Show Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, P. R. China. zhining@ust.hk.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China. chenyu@whu.edu.cn.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, P. R. China.Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, P. R. China.Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, Shanghai, P. R. China.School of Public Health, Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment of the Ministry of Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China.Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, P. R. China.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P. R. China. kfho@cuhk.edu.hk.School of Public Health, Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment of the Ministry of Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China. kanh@fudan.edu.cn.Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, Shanghai, P. R. China. qingyanf@sheemc.cn.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China. klan@whu.edu.cn.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32340022

Citation

Liu, Yuan, et al. "Aerodynamic Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Two Wuhan Hospitals." Nature, vol. 582, no. 7813, 2020, pp. 557-560.
Liu Y, Ning Z, Chen Y, et al. Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals. Nature. 2020;582(7813):557-560.
Liu, Y., Ning, Z., Chen, Y., Guo, M., Liu, Y., Gali, N. K., Sun, L., Duan, Y., Cai, J., Westerdahl, D., Liu, X., Xu, K., Ho, K. F., Kan, H., Fu, Q., & Lan, K. (2020). Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals. Nature, 582(7813), 557-560. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2271-3
Liu Y, et al. Aerodynamic Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Two Wuhan Hospitals. Nature. 2020;582(7813):557-560. PubMed PMID: 32340022.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals. AU - Liu,Yuan, AU - Ning,Zhi, AU - Chen,Yu, AU - Guo,Ming, AU - Liu,Yingle, AU - Gali,Nirmal Kumar, AU - Sun,Li, AU - Duan,Yusen, AU - Cai,Jing, AU - Westerdahl,Dane, AU - Liu,Xinjin, AU - Xu,Ke, AU - Ho,Kin-Fai, AU - Kan,Haidong, AU - Fu,Qingyan, AU - Lan,Ke, Y1 - 2020/04/27/ PY - 2020/03/14/received PY - 2020/04/20/accepted PY - 2020/4/28/pubmed PY - 2020/7/3/medline PY - 2020/4/28/entrez SP - 557 EP - 560 JF - Nature JO - Nature VL - 582 IS - 7813 N2 - The ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly on a global scale. Although it is clear that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted through human respiratory droplets and direct contact, the potential for aerosol transmission is poorly understood1-3. Here we investigated the aerodynamic nature of SARS-CoV-2 by measuring viral RNA in aerosols in different areas of two Wuhan hospitals during the outbreak of COVID-19 in February and March 2020. The concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols that was detected in isolation wards and ventilated patient rooms was very low, but it was higher in the toilet areas used by the patients. Levels of airborne SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the most public areas was undetectable, except in two areas that were prone to crowding; this increase was possibly due to individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the crowd. We found that some medical staff areas initially had high concentrations of viral RNA with aerosol size distributions that showed peaks in the submicrometre and/or supermicrometre regions; however, these levels were reduced to undetectable levels after implementation of rigorous sanitization procedures. Although we have not established the infectivity of the virus detected in these hospital areas, we propose that SARS-CoV-2 may have the potential to be transmitted through aerosols. Our results indicate that room ventilation, open space, sanitization of protective apparel, and proper use and disinfection of toilet areas can effectively limit the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols. Future work should explore the infectivity of aerosolized virus. SN - 1476-4687 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32340022/Aerodynamic_analysis_of_SARS_CoV_2_in_two_Wuhan_hospitals_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2271-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -