COVID-19 patients in earlier stages exhaled millions of SARS-CoV-2 per hour

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 28;ciaa1283. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1283. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Exhaled breath samples had the highest positive rate (26.9%, n=52), followed by surface swabs (5.4%, n=242), and air samples (3.8%, n=26). COVID-19 patients recruited in Beijing exhaled millions of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies into the air per hour. Exhaled breath emission may play an important role in the COVID-19 transmission.

Keywords: Airborne transmission; COVID-19; Exhaled breath; SARS-CoV-2.