A respiratory virus emitted in an aerosol particle will experience a tough journey with many obstacles before finding a new host where it can cause an infection (Fig. 1). By every second, its chances to replicate decrease due to removal by building ventilation, deposition on surfaces, or loss in infectivity. Thus, the transport of infectious viruses from the exhaled breath of one person to the inhaled air of another typically occurs within a few minutes. During this short time, the aerosol will undergo several transformations because of changing environmental conditions. Nevertheless, due to methodological challenges, we still have a remarkably limited understanding of the relationships between environmental factors and survival of pathogens in aerosols on short timescales. In a study in PNAS, Oswin et al. (1) show that the infectivity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can decrease abruptly when aerosol particles move between environments.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences