Respiratory bioaerosol deposition from a cough and recovery of viable viruses on nearby seats in a cabin environment

Cunteng Wang, Jingcui Xu, Sau Chung Fu, Ka Chung Chan, Christopher Y.H. Chao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory bioaerosol deposition in public transport cabins is critical for risk analysis and control of contact transmission. In this work, we built a two-row four-seat setup and an air duct system to simulate a cabin environment. A thermal manikin on the rear left-hand seat was taken as the infected passenger (IP) and “coughed” three times through a cough generator. The deposited viruses and droplets on nearby seats were measured by a cultivation method and microscope, respectively. The effects of seat backrest and overhead gasper jet were studied. Results showed that the number of deposited virus on the front seat was one order of magnitude higher than that on other seats which only contained droplets smaller than 10 µm in diameter. When the backrest was 15 cm higher than the cough, the deposited number of viruses was reduced to 5% of that with the backrest at the same height with the cough. The gasper jet above the IP with a velocity of 1.5 m/s can reduce the deposited viruses to 4% of that with gasper off. It indicates that both the gasper jet and backrest can work as mitigation measures to block the cough jet and protect the nearby passengers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1913-1925
Number of pages13
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • cabin environment
  • cough
  • COVID-19
  • deposition
  • gasper jet
  • public transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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