New dose-response model and SARS-CoV-2 quanta emission rates for calculating the long-range airborne infection risk

Amar Aganovic*, Guangyu Cao, Jarek Kurnitski, Pawel Wargocki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Predictive models for airborne infection risk have been extensively used during the pandemic, but there is yet still no consensus on a common approach, which may create misinterpretation of results among public health experts and engineers designing building ventilation. In this study we applied the latest data on viral load, aerosol droplet sizes and removal mechanisms to improve the Wells Riley model by introducing the following novelties i) a new model to calculate the total volume of respiratory fluid exhaled per unit time ii) developing a novel viral dose-based generation rate model for dehydrated droplets after expiration iii) deriving a novel quanta-RNA relationship for various strains of SARS-CoV-2 iv) proposing a method to account for the incomplete mixing conditions. These new approaches considerably changed previous estimates and allowed to determine more accurate average quanta emission rates including omicron variant. These quanta values for the original strain of 0.13 and 3.8 quanta/h for breathing and speaking and the virus variant multipliers may be used for simple hand calculations of probability of infection or with developed model operating with six size ranges of aerosol droplets to calculate the effect of ventilation and other removal mechanisms. The model developed is made available as an open-source tool.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109924
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume228
Number of pages13
ISSN0360-1323
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Please note corrigendum: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2024.111494

Keywords

  • Virus airborne infection
  • Infection control
  • Wells-Riley model
  • Quanta emission rate
  • SARS-CoV-2

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