Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Shifting Approach to Environmentally Mediated Pathways for Mitigating COVID-19: A Review of Literature on Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Version 1 : Received: 7 July 2020 / Approved: 9 July 2020 / Online: 9 July 2020 (12:32:42 CEST)

How to cite: Azimuddin, A.; Thakurdas, S.; Hameed, A.; Peel, G.; Cheema, F. Shifting Approach to Environmentally Mediated Pathways for Mitigating COVID-19: A Review of Literature on Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Preprints 2020, 2020070194 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0194.v1). Azimuddin, A.; Thakurdas, S.; Hameed, A.; Peel, G.; Cheema, F. Shifting Approach to Environmentally Mediated Pathways for Mitigating COVID-19: A Review of Literature on Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Preprints 2020, 2020070194 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0194.v1).

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been confirmed in over 10,000,000 individuals worldwide and has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths in a few months since it first surfaced. With such a rapid spread it is no surprise that there has been a massive effort around the world to collectively elucidate the mechanism by which the virus is transmitted. Despite this, there is still no definitive consensus regarding droplet versus airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Public health officials around the world have introduced guidelines within the scope of droplet transmission. However, increasing evidence and comparative analysis with similar coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) and middle eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), suggest that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be effectively ruled out. As the data supporting COVID-19 airborne transmission grows, there needs to be an increased effort in terms of technical and policy measures to mitigate the spread of viral aerosols. These measures can be in the form of broader social distancing and facial covering guidelines, exploration of thermal inactivation in clinical settings, low-dose UV-C light implementation, and greater attention to ventilation and airflow control systems. This review summarizes the current evidence available about airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, available literature about airborne transmission of similar viruses, and finally the methods that are already available or can be easily adapted to deal with a virus capable of airborne transmission.

Subject Areas

COVID19; Airborne transmission; Droplet transmission; Aerosol transmission; SARS-CoV-2; Heat Inactivation; Infection Prevention; Ventilation system

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