Impact of evaporation on virus survival, concentration, transmission — ScienceDaily

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise worldwide, it is increasingly urgent to understand how climate impacts the continued spread of the coronavirus, particularly as winter virus infections are more common and countries in the northern hemisphere will soon see cooler temperatures.

In a paper in Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, researchers studied the effects of relative humidity, environmental temperature, and wind speed on the respiratory cloud and virus viability. They found that a critical factor for the transmission of the infectious particles, which are immersed in respiratory clouds of saliva droplets, is evaporation.

“Suppose we have a better understanding of the evaporation and its relation to climate effects. In that case, we can more accurately predict the virus concentration and better determine its viability or the potential for virus survival,” said Dimitris Drikakis, one of the authors.

Despite the importance of airborne droplet transmission, research regarding heat and

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