Experimental and numerical investigation of interpersonal exposure of sneezing in a full-scale chamber

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Journal / PublicationAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


It is well known that person-to-person spreading of infectious pathogens occurs mostly because of sneezing or coughing in indoor environments. This study analyzes the spatial droplet concentration generated by human sneezing and its potential impact on the adjacent person, experimentally and numerically. Experiments were carried out in a controlled chamber with dimensions of 2.3 × 2.3 × 2.3 m 3 with two manikins (source and susceptible) standing opposite to each other at a fixed distance. Two kinds of ventilation schemes were employed in this study: well-mixed ventilation (WMV) and displacement ventilation (DV). For each ventilation scheme, the manikins were placed at two different locations: one at the center and the other near the wall on the right side of the room. Numerical simulations of sneezing droplets distribution in the room were conducted with a drift-flux model to account for the influence of the thermal plume around the human body. The results show good agreement between experimental measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions for vertical temperature profiles in the room and reasonably good agreement between normalized peak aerosol concentrations and the time at which peak concentrations occur. Results for measured points indicated that droplet concentrations around the susceptible manikin were higher when the manikins were placed near the wall, rather than at the center.© 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.