Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is the dominant route of transmission. droplets and aerosols.pdf (635.75 kB)

Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is the dominant route of transmission: droplets and aerosols

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Version 2 2022-07-15, 11:23
Version 1 2022-02-14, 07:48
journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-14, 07:48 authored by Ali A Rabaan, Shamsah H Al-Ahmed, Maysaa Al-Malkey, Roua Alsubki, Sayeh Ezzikouri, Fadel Hassan Al-Hababi, Ranjit Sah, Abbas Al Mutair, Saad Alhumaid, Jaffar A Al-Tawfiq, Awad Al-Omari, Ayman M Al-Qaaneh, Manaf Al-Qahtani, Raghavendra Tirupathi, Mohammad A Al Hamad, Nadira A Al-Baghli, Tarek Sulaiman, Arwa Alsubait, Rachana Mehta, Elfadil Abass, Maha Alawi, Fatimah Alshahrani, Dhan Bahadur Shrestha, Mohmed Isaqali Karobari, Samuel Pecho-Silva, Kovy Arteaga-Livias, D Katterine Bonilla-Aldana, Alfonso J Rodríguez-Morales
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a pandemic worldwide. On a daily basis the number of deaths associated with COVID-19 is rapidly increasing. The main transmission route of SARS-CoV-2 is through the air (airborne transmission). This review details the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the aerodynamics, and different modes of transmission (e.g. droplets, droplet nuclei, and aerosol particles). SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by an infected person during activities such as expiration, coughing, sneezing, and talking. During such activities and some medical procedures, aerosols and droplets contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 particles are formed. Depending on their sizes and the environmental conditions, such particles stay viable in the air for varying time periods and can cause infection in a susceptible host. Very few studies have been conducted to establish the mechanism or the aerodynamics of virus-loaded particles and droplets in causing infection. In this review we discuss the various forms in which SARS-CoV-2 virus particles can be transmitted in air and cause infections.



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Published Citation

Rabaan AA. et al. Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is the dominant route of transmission: droplets and aerosols. Infez Med. 2021;29(1):10-19

Publication Date

1 March 2021

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain


Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli studi di Salerno


  • Published Version (Version of Record)