Suppressing Superspreading Events in Indoor Spaces: Lessons from Inflight Outbreaks
Miss Ao LI (Ph.D. candidate)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Hong Kong
Date & Time
Monday, 24 April 2023
Room 7-34, Haking Wong Building, HKU
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of deaths since late December 2019. One major characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is the occurrence of superspreading events (SSEs). The prevention of SSEs is the key of suppressing or eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic. Less attention has been paid to the roles of poor indoor environment which facilitates infection spread than those of superspreaders, although infected individuals have been found to infect other in both crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. We used the Wells-Riley model in an indoor space and analysed reported inflight outbreaks. Our estimation suggested a lognormal distribution of the dilution rates in airplanes with a mean value close to the dilution flow rate estimated from the aircraft ventilation and filtration standard. The estimated reproductive number is less than 1, suggesting that the inflight dilution conditions cannot sustain an infection chain.