Scientists compare how COVID-19 cough clouds move with or without a mask

Scientists compare how COVID-19 cough clouds move with or without a mask

The amount of cough clouds produced by human subjects increases over time due to the influx of ambient air (below). The change in the volume of the cloud with distance from the mouth (top). The mask significantly reduces the volume as seen in the insert. Credits: Amit Agrawal and Rajneesh Bhardwaj

As the coronavirus affects more than 30 million people worldwide, researchers are increasingly focusing on the extent to which breathing bubbles in the air that carry the virus pollute the air after the infected person coughs.

Scientists have studied the properties of the air in the mouth such as volume, temperature, droplet distribution, and humidity, but little is known about how these properties change as cough clouds move. on Fluid physics, By AIP Publishing, researchers estimate the evolving volume of cough clouds and quantify the volume reduction in the presence of a face mask.

Scientists have found that the cloud volume without a mask is about 7 times larger than that of a surgical mask and 23 times larger than that of an N95 mask.

One of the authors, Amit Agrawal, said, “We design the ventilation of confined spaces and, consequently, estimate this amount of air that can help reduce the spread of disease.

Researchers have also investigated changes in temperature and humidity in cough clouds as determinants affecting the distribution of water droplets in the clouds.

Using jet theory and an analysis based on experimental data from the literature, they found that the first 5-8 seconds after coughing suspended the exhaling droplets in the air and, consequently, a problem with the spread of the disease. After that time, cough clouds usually begin to spread.

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Scientists have found that the cloud volume without a mask is about 7 times larger than that of a surgical mask and 23 times larger than that of an N95 mask.

Rajneesh Bhardwaj said, “I’ve found that anything that reduces the distance the cloud travels, such as a mask, handkerchief, and cough to the elbow, should significantly reduce the area where water droplets are dispersed when coughing, thus reducing the chance of infection. , Other authors.

Interestingly, the researchers found that a person’s cough, which affects the initial cough rate and the amount of cough, did not affect the amount of cough clouds when not wearing a mask. Mask.

Scientists have determined that the amount of cough clouds changes to a cube of the total distance a cloud travels with a proportional constant from 1 to 150, this formula will help determine the maximum number of people that can be accommodated in the ward. , Indoors, elevators, cinemas, cars, cabins, or restaurants to maintain freshness at the minimum speed required for air circulation and reduce the likelihood of infection

See also: “Reducing opportunities Coronavirus Infectious Disease-19: Corona 19 Amit Agrawal and Rajneesh Bhardwaj, Oct. 20, 2020, Infection by Cough Cloud in Closed Space”, Fluid physics.
DOI: 10.1063 / 5.0029186

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