Although the interpersonal distance represents an important parameter affecting the risk of infection due to respiratory viruses, the mechanism of exposure to exhaled droplets remains insufficiently characterized. In this study, an integrated risk assessment is presented for SARS-CoV-2 close proximity exposure between a speaking infectious subject and a susceptible subject. It is based on a three-dimensional transient numerical model for the description of exhaled droplet spread once emitted by a speaking person, coupled with a recently proposed SARS-CoV-2 emission approach. Particle image velocimetry measurements were conducted to validate the numerical model. The contribution of the large droplets to the risk is barely noticeable only for distanceswell below0.6 m,whereas it drops to zero for greater distanceswhere it depends only on airborne droplets. In particular, for short exposures (10 s) a minimumsafety distance of 0.75mshould be maintained to lower the risk below0.1%; for exposures of 1 and 15 min this distance increases to about 1.1 and 1.5 m, respectively. Based on the interpersonal distances across countries reported as a function of interacting individuals, cultural differences, and environmental and sociopsychological factors, the approach presented here revealed that, in addition to intimate and personal distances, particular attention must be paid to exposures longer than 1 min within social distances (of about 1 m).

Close proximity risk assessment for SARS-CoV-2 infection

Cortellessa, G.;Stabile, L.;Arpino, F.;Buonanno, G.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Although the interpersonal distance represents an important parameter affecting the risk of infection due to respiratory viruses, the mechanism of exposure to exhaled droplets remains insufficiently characterized. In this study, an integrated risk assessment is presented for SARS-CoV-2 close proximity exposure between a speaking infectious subject and a susceptible subject. It is based on a three-dimensional transient numerical model for the description of exhaled droplet spread once emitted by a speaking person, coupled with a recently proposed SARS-CoV-2 emission approach. Particle image velocimetry measurements were conducted to validate the numerical model. The contribution of the large droplets to the risk is barely noticeable only for distanceswell below0.6 m,whereas it drops to zero for greater distanceswhere it depends only on airborne droplets. In particular, for short exposures (10 s) a minimumsafety distance of 0.75mshould be maintained to lower the risk below0.1%; for exposures of 1 and 15 min this distance increases to about 1.1 and 1.5 m, respectively. Based on the interpersonal distances across countries reported as a function of interacting individuals, cultural differences, and environmental and sociopsychological factors, the approach presented here revealed that, in addition to intimate and personal distances, particular attention must be paid to exposures longer than 1 min within social distances (of about 1 m).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11580/85332
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