When refreshing, wear a mask outdoors to prevent exposure to coronavirus

A large eddy simulation model that represents the evolution of the cough jet.Credit: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Due to the continued spread of highly infectious delta variants of coronavirus throughout the United States, guidelines from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend even vaccinated wear masks indoors to prevent exposure and infection. ..

But it’s not very clear what people should do when they’re outside.

of Fluid physics, Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have discovered that when a person coughs outdoors, the wind flowing in the same direction can spread the virus faster over long distances than in calm conditions.

“This study is important in that it points out that coughing in the same direction as the wind increases the risk of infection,” said co-author Amit Agrawar. “Based on the results, it is advisable to wear a mask outdoors, especially in refreshing conditions.”

Other guidelines, such as coughing with your elbows or turning your face while coughing, should be followed to reduce infections when socializing outdoors.

Most studies have modeled cough flow using a blow of air or a simple pulsation profile. But the actual cough is more complicated, Turbulence It has a remarkable whirlpool structure that swirls like a mini whirlpool.

To investigate these vortices, researchers used large eddy simulations. This is a numerical model of computational fluid dynamics that simulates turbulence. They modeled a cough jet in refreshing and mild conditions, representing a typical indoor environment.

These simulations show that even a breeze of about 5 mph increases the effective social distance by about 20% from 3 to 6 feet to 3.6 to 7.2 feet, depending on the intensity of the cough. At 9-11 mph, virus spread increases with distance and duration.

Researchers have found that vortices cause droplets that are larger than normally expected to remain in the air, increasing the time it takes to properly dilute the amount of virus in fresh air. As the cough jet evolves and spreads, it interacts with the wind flowing in the same direction, causing larger infected droplets to be trapped in the jet’s vortex rather than falling to the ground relatively quickly under gravity.

“Increasing the residence time of some of the larger droplets will increase the amount of virus transmitted through. cough Jet planes, and therefore potential infections, “said Agrawar.

How COVID-19 Cough Clouds Move in the Presence and Absence of Face Masks: Study

For more information:
“Effects of parallel flow on fluid dynamics of cough jets affecting the spread of COVID-19” Fluid physics,

Quote: When refreshing, wear a mask outdoors to prevent exposure to coronavirus (October 12, 2021).

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When refreshing, wear a mask outdoors to prevent exposure to coronavirus

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