Short and long term dispersion of airborne pathogen-laden aerosols expelled in a violent expiratory event

  • Pallares, Jordi (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
  • Lavrinenko, Akim (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
  • Cito, Salvatore (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
  • Vernet, Anton (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
  • Fabregat, Alexandre (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

Please login to view abstract download link

In this paper, we summarize the efforts of our research group to analyze the physics behind the short-term and long-term indoor dispersion of pathogen-laden aerosols generated in a violent expiratory event. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed the need for a better understanding of the flow physics that govern the airborne transmission of infectious diseases via pathogen-laden aerosols expelled during coughs, sneezes or while talking or singing. Numerical and experimental analyses of the short-term and long-term flow and particle dispersion produced by expiratory events have unveiled important underlying physical mechanisms and allowed prediction of the short-range risk of infection one to two seconds after expiration and during the long-term aerosol cloud indoor dispersion produced by the background ventilation currents.