Evaluation of short-distance airborne infection risk using a cough generator

Wei Ling*, Maho Ichikawa, Kaho Hashimoto, Masayuki Ogata, Hitomi Tsutsumi, Shoichi Morimoto, Tanabe Shin-Ichi, Satoshi Hori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Short-distance airborne infections are often thought to occur by large droplets or direct contact. Recent studies have investigated the phenomenon of short-range airborne infection. In this study, the effect of relative humidity and short-distance exposure to cough droplet nuclei were evaluated. The evaluation model for infection risk was designed based on experimental data and previous studies and included sampling efficiency and virus survival rate. As observed in the comparison between short-range exposure and long-range exposure, the short-range exposure to the droplet nuclei by one cough was equivalent to a long-range exposure of several seconds to, depending on the number of ventilations, even for a momentary high-concentration exposure. This suggests the possibility of an infection risk corresponding to the receiving condition. Since short-range exposure and long-range exposure have different factors affecting the risk of infection, it is suggested that effective infection control should be selected for each condition. The risk of infection due to long-range exposure is considered to be sufficiently reduced to that of a single cough if the building meets the necessary number of ventilations. It was suggested that the influence of relative humidity on infection risks is smaller than other factors such as ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number02028
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 13
Event13th REHVA World Congress, CLIMA 2019 - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 2019 May 262019 May 29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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