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Addressing COVID-19 contagion through the HVAC systems by reviewing indoor airborne nature of infectious microbes: Will an innovative air recirculation concept provide a practical solution?

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-10-31, 09:48 and posted on 2023-10-31, 10:49 authored by Ahmed Sodiq, Moazzam Ali Khan, Mahmoud Naas, Abdulkarem Amhamed

As the world continues to grapple with the reality of coronavirus disease, global research communities are racing to develop practical solutions to adjust to the new challenges. One such challenge is the control of indoor air quality in the COVID-19 era and beyond. Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic, the “super spread” of the virus has continued to amaze policymakers despite measures put in place by public health officials to sensitize the general public on the need for social distancing, personal hygiene, etc. In this work, we have reviewed the literature to demonstrate, by investigating the historical and present circumstances, that indoor spread of infectious diseases may be assisted by the conditions of the HVAC systems. While little consideration has been given to the possibility of indoor airborne transmission of the virus, the available reports have demonstrated that the virus, with average aerodynamic diameter up to 80–120 nm, is viable as aerosol in indoor atmosphere for more than 3 h, and its spread may be assisted by the HVAC systems. Having reviewed the vulnerability of the conventional ventilation systems, we recommend innovative air circulation concept supported by the use of UVGI in combination with nanoporous air filter to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other harmful microbes in enclosed spaces.

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Published in: Environmental Research
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute - HBKU
  • Qatar Biomedical Research Institute - HBKU