Airflow analysis of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital during hospitalization of the first Middle East respiratory syndrome patient in Korea

Seongmin Jo, Jin Kwan Hong, Sang Eun Lee, Moran Ki, Bo Youl Choi, Minki Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is known to be transmitted through close contact. However, epidemiological surveys of MERS in Korea indicated that some secondary patients were infected without close contact. Therefore, the possibility of other transmission routes must be identified. In this study, the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow was investigated on the eighth floor of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital. Computational fluid dynamics was used to analyse the indoor airflow and passive tracer diffusion during the index patient's stay. Six cases were simulated for different outdoor wind directions and indoor mechanical ventilation operations. When a passive tracer was released in ward 8104, where the index patient was hospitalized, the passive tracer spread through the indoor airflow, which was created by the outdoor airflow. Ward 8109, which had the largest number of infected cases and was far distant from ward 8104, showed passive tracer concentration in all cases. This result indicates that MERS may have spread through airflow. The study results do not imply that the infection pathway of MERS is airborne. However, the results show the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow in specific environments such as poor ventilation environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181164
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019 Mar 1

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Ventilation
Computational fluid dynamics
Artificial Respiration

Keywords

  • Airflow analysis
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Hospital infection
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome
  • Transmission route
  • Ventilation

Cite this

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title = "Airflow analysis of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital during hospitalization of the first Middle East respiratory syndrome patient in Korea",
abstract = "Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is known to be transmitted through close contact. However, epidemiological surveys of MERS in Korea indicated that some secondary patients were infected without close contact. Therefore, the possibility of other transmission routes must be identified. In this study, the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow was investigated on the eighth floor of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital. Computational fluid dynamics was used to analyse the indoor airflow and passive tracer diffusion during the index patient's stay. Six cases were simulated for different outdoor wind directions and indoor mechanical ventilation operations. When a passive tracer was released in ward 8104, where the index patient was hospitalized, the passive tracer spread through the indoor airflow, which was created by the outdoor airflow. Ward 8109, which had the largest number of infected cases and was far distant from ward 8104, showed passive tracer concentration in all cases. This result indicates that MERS may have spread through airflow. The study results do not imply that the infection pathway of MERS is airborne. However, the results show the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow in specific environments such as poor ventilation environments.",
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Airflow analysis of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital during hospitalization of the first Middle East respiratory syndrome patient in Korea. / Jo, Seongmin; Hong, Jin Kwan; Lee, Sang Eun; Ki, Moran; Choi, Bo Youl; Sung, Minki.

In: Royal Society Open Science, Vol. 6, No. 3, 181164, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Sung, Minki

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AB - Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is known to be transmitted through close contact. However, epidemiological surveys of MERS in Korea indicated that some secondary patients were infected without close contact. Therefore, the possibility of other transmission routes must be identified. In this study, the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow was investigated on the eighth floor of Pyeongtaek St Mary's Hospital. Computational fluid dynamics was used to analyse the indoor airflow and passive tracer diffusion during the index patient's stay. Six cases were simulated for different outdoor wind directions and indoor mechanical ventilation operations. When a passive tracer was released in ward 8104, where the index patient was hospitalized, the passive tracer spread through the indoor airflow, which was created by the outdoor airflow. Ward 8109, which had the largest number of infected cases and was far distant from ward 8104, showed passive tracer concentration in all cases. This result indicates that MERS may have spread through airflow. The study results do not imply that the infection pathway of MERS is airborne. However, the results show the possibility of MERS spreading through airflow in specific environments such as poor ventilation environments.

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