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Risk of indoor airborne infection transmission estimated from carbon dioxide concentration.

Authors
Rudnick-SN; Milton-DK
Source
Indoor Air 2003 Sep; 13(3):237-245
NIOSHTIC No.
20038645
Abstract
The Wells-Riley equation, which is used to model the risk of indoor airborne transmission of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, is sometimes problematic because it assumes steady-state conditions and requires measurement of outdoor air supply rates, which are frequently difficult to measure and often vary with time. We derive an alternative equation that avoids these problems by determining the fraction of inhaled air that has been exhaled previously by someone in the building (rebreathed fraction) using CO2 concentration as a marker for exhaled-breath exposure. We also derive a non-steady-state version of the Wells-Riley equation which is especially useful in poorly ventilated environments when outdoor air supply rates can be assumed constant. Finally, we derive the relationship between the average number of secondary cases infected by each primary case in a building and exposure to exhaled breath and demonstrate that there is likely to be an achievable critical rebreathed fraction of indoor air below which airborne propagation of common respiratory infections and influenza will not occur.
Keywords
Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Biological-effects; Disease-transmission; Infectious-diseases; Air-contamination; Respiratory-system-disorders; Breathing; Breathing-zone; Respiratory-infections; Risk-analysis; Mathematical-models; Author Keywords: Carbon dioxide; Infectious disease risk modeling; Wells-Riley equation; Basic reproductive number; Communicable disease control; Respiratory tract infections; Indoor air pollution
Contact
Donald K. Milton, Associate Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-6021, USA
CODEN
INAIE5
CAS No.
124-38-9
Publication Date
20030901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
dmilton@hsph.harvard.edu
Funding Amount
850954
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003694
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0905-6947
Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Indoor Environment
Source Name
Indoor Air
State
MA
Performing Organization
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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