Ventilation in the built environment to reduce airborne transmission of infectious agents

Added April 30, 2020

Citation: Li Y, Leung GM, Tang JW, et al. Role of ventilation in airborne transmission of infectious agents in the built environment – a multidisciplinary systematic review. Indoor Air 2007; 17(1): 2-18

Free to view: No

What is this? Physical interventions intended to prevent and control the transmission of airborne infectious agents should interrupt or reduce the spread of COVID-19. Research on the role of ventilation in the built environment may provide evidence to help with the choice of these interventions.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for articles reporting on the contribution to the spread of airborne infectious diseases of indoor ventilation rates and the airflow patterns and on the minimum ventilation requirements to minimize transmission of airborne infectious diseases. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search in March 2005. They included 40 articles and convened a multidisciplinary consensus panel to evaluate the content of these studies.

What was found: Negative-pressure isolation rooms are effective for reducing transmission from hospitalized infected patients.

There is strong and sufficient evidence of an association between ventilation measures and the control of transmission and spread of airborne infectious agents such as SARS and influenza; but the ventilation requirements to minimize airborne transmission of infectious agents in settings such as hospitals, schools, offices and other buildings is uncertain.


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