Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Aerosol Particles Laden with Viruses That Cause COVID-19 Travel Over 30m Distance

Version 1 : Received: 30 April 2020 / Approved: 30 April 2020 / Online: 30 April 2020 (17:29:23 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 20 May 2020 / Approved: 21 May 2020 / Online: 21 May 2020 (04:05:50 CEST)

How to cite: Gorbunov, B. Aerosol Particles Laden with Viruses That Cause COVID-19 Travel Over 30m Distance. Preprints 2020, 2020040546. Gorbunov, B. Aerosol Particles Laden with Viruses That Cause COVID-19 Travel Over 30m Distance. Preprints 2020, 2020040546.


Effects of the convection flow, atmospheric diffusivity and humidity on evolution and travel distances of exhaled aerosol clouds by an infected person are considered. The aim of this work is to evaluate the importance of aerosol transmission routes and the effectiveness of the 2-metre separation distance policy. A potential impact of use of face masks on the infection transmission rate, and an opportunity to reduce infection in hospitals, care homes and other public spaces by appropriate monitoring and filtering of air are also considered. The results obtained demonstrate that aerosol particles generated by coughing and sneezing can travel over 30 m. Modelling of the evolution of aerosol clouds generated by coughing and sneezing enables us to evaluate the deposition dose of aerosol particles in healthy individuals. For example, a person in a public place (e.g. supermarket or car park) can accumulate in the respiratory system up to 200 virus copies in 2 min time by breathing in virus laden aerosols. Wearing face mask considerably reduces the deposited load down to 2 virus copies per 2 min. The modelling also suggests that it should be possible to measure virus causing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) within aerosol particles in hospitals and public places, e.g. care homes and supermarkets.


COVID-19; face masks; aerosol; infection transmission route; weather conditions; viral load; exposure; dose


Medicine and Pharmacology, Pathology and Pathobiology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 21 May 2020
Commenter: Boris Gorbunov
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: On advise of my colleagues changes are made to clarify the narrative:
1. title, 2. Abstract, Added refs, 3. A secton added on page 15 (Wearing face masks and earlier lockdown exit)
4. A few typos have been corrected.

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Comment 2
Received: 26 May 2020
Commenter: Valerie Fournier, DVM, MPH
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: This article is very, very informative. Well researched, and I truly appreciate you considering as many variables as you have.

I'm contacting you to point out a typo, near the end of page 3.

Aerosol processes considered in this study were (i) the coagulation of particles, (ii) the condensation and evaporation of water form droplets, and (iii) dry deposition Karl, et al. (2016). The lung deposition model was based on ICRP (1994) with lung deposition efficiency from Gorbunov et al. (2004) and Ruzer, et al. (2005).

The word "form" in the above paragraph should read as "from"

Thank you for your research, this will help us in developing our product, and hopefully will help policymakers make more informed decisions
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