Towards improved social distancing guidelines: Space and time dependence of virus transmission from speech-driven aerosol transport between two individuals

Fan Yang, Amir A. Pahlavan, Simon Mendez, Manouk Abkarian, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is now recognized that aerosol transport contributes to the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here, we improve existing social distancing guidelines for airborne pathogens, which are typically given in terms of distance with vague statements about contact times. Also, estimates of inhalation of virus in a contaminated space usually assume a well-mixed environment, which is realistic for some, but not all, situations. In particular, we consider a local casual interaction of an infected individual and a susceptible individual, both maskless, account for the air flow and aerosol transport characteristics of speaking and breathing in a poorly ventilated space, and propose social distancing guidelines that involve both space and contact time, based on a conservative model of fluid dynamics of the interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122501
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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