A system including a spirometer and LAS-X particle analyzer was designed to examine aerosols generated during a cough. The system was held at 37 degrees C in a temperature controlled chamber. Air was pulled through a HEPA filter and the spirometer at a constant rate (5 l/min) so that aerosols introduced to the spirometer-aerosol analyzer system were continuously washed out. A subject breathing ambient air coughed into the spirometer, then breathed HEPA filtered air and coughed at 2 min intervals for 6 min. Background aerosol measurements were recorded prior to each cough. Preliminary experiments showed that the difference in the number of particles recovered from the spirometer with respect to background (NPD) was greatest following the first cough, was reduced during the second cough, but tended to increase following the third and four1h coughs. Particle diameters ranged between 0.1 and 5.0 micro m after each cough, and more that 95% of the particles had diameters less than 1.0 micro m. Results also showed that there was a significant variation in NPD (+/-300%) between subjects following each of the four coughs.
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