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

Orouba Almilaji  1,2

1 Medical Science and Public Health Department, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
2 Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Science and Medicine, King’s College London, London, UK


Received: July 31, 2020
Revised: December 22, 2020
Accepted: December 27, 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.200495  


Cite this article:

Almilaji, O. (2021). Air Recirculation Role in the Spread of COVID-19 Onboard the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship during a Quarantine Period. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200495. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200495


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Infection rate in cabins with previous case was not statistically different than those without.
  • Age of subject was found not to be a confounding factor.
  • Conflicting results from previous studies of this outbreak are largely explainable.
  • Airborne transmission through the HVAC system could explain the virus spread on the ship.
  • Recirculated air and inadequate air filtration likely increased airborne transmission.
 

ABSTRACT 


The Diamond Princess cruise ship is a unique COVID-19 transmission case because of the high testing capacity and the confined environment. This exploratory study aims to raise the hypothesis regarding the role of poor ventilation systems in the spread of COVID-19 by analysing count data collected by the onboard clinic during the outbreak, and considering the deck plan and design of the air conditioning system of the ship. Observed symptomatic infection rate after day 5 (incubation period median day) of the quarantine, in cabins without previous confirmed cases are compared to that in cabins with previous confirmed cases. Accordingly, the observed symptomatic infection rate in cabins without a previously confirmed case (1.2%) was higher than for cabins with a previously confirmed case (0.8%); however, the difference was not statistically significant. In addition, age did not appear to be a confounding variable. Airborne transmission of COVID-19 through the ventilation system onboard could explain the higher than expected virus spread into cabins without previously confirmed cases during the quarantine period; thus, this study provides further potential evidence of coronavirus transmission by aerosols. Conflicting results from other studies involving the Diamond Princess outbreak are also discussed in light of our results.


Keywords: Confined spaces, Ventilation, Airborne transmission, Filters, HVAC system




Don't forget to share this article 

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

Latest coronavirus research from Aerosol and Air Quality Research

2018 Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827


SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal, promotes submissions of high-quality research, and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world.