Superspreading events have distinguished the COVID-19 pandemic from the early outbreak of the disease. Now, research from Harvard University, Tulane University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital finds that a critical factor in these and other transmission events is the propensity of certain individuals to exhale large numbers of small respiratory droplets. The researchers found that age, obesity and COVID-19 infection all correlate with a propensity to breathe out more respiratory droplets.
Understanding the source and variance of respiratory droplet generation may lead to effective approaches to reducing COVID-19 infection and transmission.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.