Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (XI)

Boris Gorbunov This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2 

1 Ancon Technologies Ltd., CIC, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7FG, UK
2 Ancon Medical Inc., Bloomington, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Received: July 30, 2020
Revised: November 26, 2020
Accepted: December 5, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200468  

Cite this article:

Gorbunov, B. (2021). Aerosol Particles Generated by Coughing and Sneezing of a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Host Travel over 30 m Distance. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200468. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200468


  • The 2 m Safe Distance concept was examined by modelling of the aerosol dispersion. 
  • It was found that aerosol particles generated by coughing can travel over 30 m. 
  • Deposition doses up to 200 virus copies in 2 min were predicted by modelling. 


A fast-computational 3D model comprising fluid dynamics with heat transfer, mass transfer and diffusion of diluted species has been adapted and employed to evaluate dispersion of aerosol particles in various environments. Effects of convection flow, atmospheric diffusivity and humidity on evolution and travel distances of exhaled aerosol clouds by an infected person are modelled. The modelling clearly demonstrates how aerosol particle dispersion is influenced by weather and geometry of the environment. The results obtained demonstrate that aerosol particles of sizes from 10 µm to 100 µm that potentially can carry SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) viruses travel over 30 m in some atmospheric conditions. Modelling of the evolution of aerosol clouds generated by coughing and sneezing enables us to evaluate the deposition dose of aerosol particles in healthy individuals. In realistic weather scenarios viruses can be deposited in the respiratory tract of a healthy individual at up to 200 virus copies in several minutes. A metric based on aerosol particle (volume) size distribution and the ICRP lung deposition model is suggested.

Keywords: COVID-19 transmission, Viral load, Size distribution, Modelling

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