Researchers at TU Berlin analyze aerosol infection risk

Researchers at the Hermann Rietschel Institut at TU Berlin have recently published a paper (in German) on their analysis of infection risk through aerosols. The full download can be found here.

As Der Spiegel writes (in German), while the paper is still pending peer review, it clearly shows that the risk of infection with Covid in

  • grows exponentially if no face mask is worn;
  • grows significantly when occupancy of closed spaces, like offices or theaters increases;
  • is higher in closed environments than outdoors;
  • decreases in indoor environments only if proper ventilation is assured. The study also highlights that just opening windows is not necessarily effective. A properly functioning air exchange system is a key element in decontaminating air in closed environments.

The key learnings from the study reiterates the importance of some simple measures everybody can take into consideration to protect yourself and your environment from contamination with Covid-19, quantifying the importance of them:

  • Social distancing is key. The higher the occupancy of a closed space, the higher the risk of infections;
  • Wearing a mask is crucial, but not the only solution;
  • Avoiding large crowds in movement helps reduce the risk of infection;
  • Outdoor spaces, where the wind disperses aerosols, are significantly less risky than closed environments.

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