Published on Thu Jul 22 2021

Variation in SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosol production in exhaled breath

Verma, R., Kim, E., Degner, N., Walter, K. S., Singh, U., Andrews, J. R.

Using face mask bioaerosol, we found substantial variation between individuals in SARS-CoV-2 copies exhaled over a 15-minute period. Talking was associated with a median of 2 log10 greater exhaled viral copies.

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Abstract

Using face mask bioaerosol sampling, we found substantial variation between individuals in SARS-CoV-2 copies exhaled over a 15-minute period, which moderately correlated with nasal swab viral load. Talking was associated with a median of 2 log10 greater exhaled viral copies. Exposure varies substantially between individuals but may be risk stratified by nasal swab viral load and whether the exposure involved conversation.