Persistence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Aerosol Suspensions

Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Sep;26(9):2168-2171. doi: 10.3201/eid2609.201806. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


We aerosolized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and determined that its dynamic aerosol efficiency surpassed those of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Although we performed experiment only once across several laboratories, our findings suggest retained infectivity and virion integrity for up to 16 hours in respirable-sized aerosols.

Keywords: 2019 novel coronavirus disease; COVID-19; MERS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; aerosol; coronavirus diseases; respiratory diseases; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / isolation & purification*
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / isolation & purification
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Suspensions / isolation & purification*


  • Aerosols
  • Suspensions