Modeling and simulation of the infection zone from a cough


The pandemic of 2020 has led to a huge interest of modeling and simulation of infectious diseases. One of the central questions is the potential infection zone produced by a cough. In this paper, mathematical models are developed to simulate the progressive time-evolution of the distribution of locations of particles produced by a cough. Analytical and numerical studies are undertaken. The models ascertain the range, distribution and settling time of the particles under the influence of gravity and drag from the surrounding air. Beyond qualitative trends that illustrate that large particles travel far and settle quickly, while small particles do not travel far and settle slowly, the models provide quantitative results for distances travelled and settling times, which are needed for constructing social distancing policies and workplace protocols.

Tarek Zohdi

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