Modes of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (Sars-cov-2) and factors influencing on the airborne transmission: A review

Mahdieh Delikhoon, Marcelo I. Guzman, Ramin Nabizadeh, Abbas Norouzian Baghani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The multiple modes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission including airborne, droplet, contact, and fecal-oral transmissions that cause coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) contribute to a public threat to the lives of people worldwide. Herein, different databases are reviewed to evaluate modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and study the effects of negative pressure ventilation, air conditioning system, and related protection approaches of this virus. Droplet transmission was commonly reported to occur in particles with diameter >5 µm that can quickly settle gravitationally on surfaces (1-2 m). Instead, fine and ultrafine particles (airborne transmission) can stay suspended for an extended period of time (≥2 h) and be transported further, e.g., up to 8 m through simple diffusion and convection mechanisms. Droplet and airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can be limited indoors with adequate ventilation of rooms, by routine disinfection of toilets, using negative pressure rooms, using face masks, and maintaining social distancing. Other preventive measures recommended include increasing the number of screening tests of suspected carriers of SARS-CoV-2, reducing the number of persons in a room to minimize sharing indoor air, and monitoring people’s temperature before accessing a building. The work reviews a body of literature supporting the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through air, causing COVID-19 disease, which requires coordinated worldwide strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number395
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The APC was funded by MDPI IJERPH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Infection
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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