Persistence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Aerosol Suspensions

Alyssa C. Fears; William B. Klimstra; Paul Duprex; Amy Hartman; Scott C. Weaver; Kenneth S. Plante; Divya Mirchandani; Jessica Ann Plante; Patricia V. Aguilar; Diana Fernández; Aysegul Nalca; Allison Totura; David Dyer; Brian Kearney; Matthew Lackemeyer; J. Kyle Bohannon; Reed Johnson; Robert F. Garry; Doug S. Reed; Chad J. Roy


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(9):2168-2171. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


We aerosolized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and determined that its dynamic aerosol efficiency surpassed those of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Although we performed experiment only once across several laboratories, our findings suggest retained infectivity and virion integrity for up to 16 hours in respirable-sized aerosols.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a readily transmissible zoonotic pathogen and the etiologic agent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.[1] To determine aerosol stability of the virus, we measured the dynamic (short-term) aerosol efficiencies of SARS-CoV-2 and compared its efficiency with SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).