A systematic review of possible airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) in the indoor air environment

Zahra Noorimotlagh, Neemat Jaafarzadeh, Susana Silva Martínez, Seyyed Abbas Mirzaee
Environmental Research 2021, 193: 110612
At the end of December 2019, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) disease and, subsequently, deaths around the world, lead to the declaration of the pandemic situation in the world. At the beginning of the epidemic, much attention is paid to person-to-person transmission, disinfection of virus-contaminated surfaces, and social distancing. However, there is much debate about the routes of disease transmission, including airborne transmission, so it is important to elucidate the exact route of transmission of the COVID-19 disease. To this end, the first systematic review study was conducted to comprehensively search all databases to collect studies on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor air environments. In total, 14 relevant and eligible studies were included. Based on the findings, there is a great possibility of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor air environments. Therefore, some procedures are presented such as improving ventilation, especially in hospitals and crowded places, and observing the interpersonal distance of more than 2 m so that experts in indoor air quality consider them to improve the indoor air environments. Finally, in addition to the recommendations of the centers and official authorities such as hand washing and observing social distancing, the route of air transmission should also be considered to further protect health personnel, patients in hospitals, and the public in other Public Buildings.

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