JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transmission of droplet-conveyed infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2 by speech and vocal exercises during speech therapy: preliminary experiment concerning airflow velocity

Antoine Giovanni, Thomas Radulesco, Gilles Bouchet, Alexia Mattei, Joana Révis, Estelle Bogdanski, Justin Michel
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2020 July 16
32676677

PURPOSE: Infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, can be carried by droplets expelled during breathing. The spatial dissemination of droplets varies according to their initial velocity. After a short literature review, our goal was to determine the velocity of the exhaled air during vocal exercises.

METHODS: A propylene glycol cloud produced by 2 e-cigarettes' users allowed visualization of the exhaled air emitted during vocal exercises. Airflow velocities were measured during the first 200 ms of a long exhalation, a sustained vowel /a/ and varied vocal exercises. For the long exhalation and the sustained vowel /a/, the decrease of airflow velocity was measured until 3 s. Results were compared with a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study using boundary conditions consistent with our experimental study.

RESULTS: Regarding the production of vowels, higher velocities were found in loud and whispered voices than in normal voice. Voiced consonants like /ʒ/ or /v/ generated higher velocities than vowels. Some voiceless consonants, e.g., /t/ generated high velocities, but long exhalation had the highest velocities. Semi-occluded vocal tract exercises generated faster airflow velocities than loud speech, with a decreased velocity during voicing. The initial velocity quickly decreased as was shown during a long exhalation or a sustained vowel /a/. Velocities were consistent with the CFD data.

CONCLUSION: Initial velocity of the exhaled air is a key factor influencing droplets trajectory. Our study revealed that vocal exercises produce a slower airflow than long exhalation. Speech therapy should, therefore, not be associated with an increased risk of contamination when implementing standard recommendations.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
32676677
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"