Point of emission air filtration enhances protection of healthcare workers against skin contamination with virus aerosol

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their advice regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2,1, 2 highlighting that virus-laden aerosols can travel large distances and remain suspended in air for prolonged periods of time. Coupled with recent data suggesting that the Delta variant of concern is more transmissible3 and results in higher likelihood of admission to hospital,4 the need to address virus aerosol transmission has never been greater.

Several studies have highlighted the effectiveness of aerosol control measures using point of emission air exchange/filtration.5, 6 This strategy employs a containment structure (e.g., hood) and an expensive/hospital-grade air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. We recently demonstrated that this method eliminates environmental contamination when very large quantities of bacteriophage virus are experimentally aerosolized into a non-ventilated clinical room.6 While this method is relatively low cost compared to building/infrastructure alteration, it is unclear whether similar efficacy can be achieved with an ‘off the shelf’ air purifiers. Furthermore, it is not known if currently deployed personal protective equipment (PPE) strategies protect against virus aerosol transmission to healthcare workers, or if point of emission control of virus aerosol can enhance the effectiveness of PPE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-468
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • aerosol
  • air filtration
  • COVID-19
  • critical care medicine
  • infection control
  • personal protective equipment
  • ventilation

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