Airflows inside passenger cars and trucks and implications for airborne disease transmission

Summary

Transmission of very infectious respiratory conditions, which include SARS-CoV-2, is facilitated by the transportation of exhaled droplets and aerosols that can continue to be suspended in air for prolonged intervals of time. A passenger automobile cabin signifies one particular these kinds of condition with an elevated danger of pathogen transmission. Right here, we present benefits from numerical simulations to evaluate how the in-cabin microclimate of a motor vehicle can possibly unfold pathogenic species in between occupants for a wide variety of open and shut window configurations. We estimate relative concentrations and residence occasions of a noninteracting, passive scalar—a proxy for infectious particles—being advected and subtle by turbulent airflows inside of the cabin. An airflow sample that travels throughout the cabin, farthest from the occupants, can probably minimize the transmission danger. Our findings reveal the elaborate fluid dynamics throughout every day commutes and nonintuitive strategies in which open up windows can possibly raise or suppress airborne transmission.

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