Consideration of the Aerosol Transmission for COVID-19 and Public Health

Risk Anal. 2020 May;40(5):902-907. doi: 10.1111/risa.13500. Epub 2020 May 1.


This article analyzes the available evidence to address airborne, aerosol transmission of the SARS-CoV-2. We review and present three lines of evidence: case reports of transmission for asymptomatic individuals in association with studies that show that normal breathing and talking produce predominantly small droplets of the size that are subject to aerosol transport; limited empirical data that have recorded aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 particles that remain suspended in the air for hours and are subject to transport over distances including outside of rooms and intrabuilding, and the broader literature that further supports the importance of aerosol transmission of infectious diseases. The weight of the available evidence warrants immediate attention to address the significance of aerosols and implications for public health protection.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Microbiology*
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Particle Size
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Public Health*
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Aerosols