Infectivity of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 aerosols is sufficient to transmit covid-19 within minutes.

Publication date: Dec 01, 2023

Exhaled SARS-CoV-2-containing aerosols contributed significantly to the rapid and vast spread of covid-19. However, quantitative experimental data on the infectivity of such aerosols is missing. Here, we quantified emission rates of infectious viruses in exhaled aerosol from individuals within their first days after symptom onset from covid-19. Six aerosol samples from three individuals were culturable, of which five were successfully quantified using TCID. The source strength of the three individuals was highest during singing, when they exhaled 4, 36, or 127 TCID/s, respectively. Calculations with an indoor air transmission model showed that if an infected individual with this emission rate entered a room, a susceptible person would inhale an infectious dose within 6 to 37 min in a room with normal ventilation. Thus, our data show that exhaled aerosols from a single person can transmit covid-19 to others within minutes at normal indoor conditions.

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Concepts Keywords
Culturable Aerosol
Indoor Aerosols
Singing Covid
Viruses Emission


Type Source Name
disease IDO infectivity
disease MESH covid-19
disease VO Viruses
disease IDO symptom
drug DRUGBANK Medical air
disease VO dose
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease VO efficient
disease MESH infection
disease VO nose
disease MESH Infectious Diseases
disease IDO assay
drug DRUGBANK Acetylcholine
disease VO time
disease VO viability
disease VO viable
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease VO storage
disease VO inactivation
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease VO efficiency
drug DRUGBANK Phosphate ion
drug DRUGBANK Sucrose
drug DRUGBANK Human Serum Albumin
disease VO protocol
disease IDO replication
disease VO USA
drug DRUGBANK Water
drug DRUGBANK Streptomycin
drug DRUGBANK Geneticin
disease VO frequency
disease MESH sore throat
disease VO vaccinated
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK Esomeprazole
disease IDO host
disease MESH influenza
disease VO report
pathway REACTOME Reproduction

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