Ventilation of general hospital wards for mitigating infection risks of three kinds of viruses including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

H. C. Yu, Kwok Wai Mui, Ling Tim Wong, H. S. Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effectiveness of ventilation design strategies for general hospital wards in terms of virus removal capacity. A typical semi-enclosed six-bed general ward of Hong Kong hospitals and three respiratory viruses, namely Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and H1N1 influenza virus, were chosen for the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of airflow field and virus dispersion inside the ward. The results demonstrated that the location of an infected patient would affect the infection risks to other occupants and healthcare workers inside the same hospital ward, and an increased air change rate in the ward could reduce the risk of infection from direct contact and inhalation. It was found that an air change rate of 9 h-1could effectively minimize the deposition and floating time of respiratory virus particles while maximizing energy efficiency. This study should provide a useful source of reference for the hospital management to mitigate the risk of infection with MERS or other airborne transmitted viruses through better ventilation design strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-527
Number of pages14
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • CFD
  • Hospital general wards
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • Ventilation
  • Virus dispersion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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