Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

May 4, 2020

Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 Emissions from Non-Symptomatic Cases



  • Previous studies have shown high levels of SARS-CoV-2 in swab and sputum samples from individuals with no or mild symptoms of COVID-19. The authors modeled the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in a room the size of a small office or examination room using data on the distribution of aerosol sizes in exhaled breath generated by coughing versus normal breathing (emission data). They found virus concentration to be high in a room with a coughing emitter, or a high emitter breathing normally, and concluded strict respiratory protection is needed when in the same room as a potential patient.  

Riediker et al. (May 3, 2020). Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 Emissions from Non-Symptomatic Cases. Pre-print downloaded May 4 from Medrxiv.