Aerosol

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An aerosol can be defined as solid or liquid particles or droplets suspended in air or other gases.[1] Small droplets of fluid expelled through coughing or sneezing can create an aerosol.

Reseach has determined aerosols emitted from the respiratory tract (coughing or sneezing) contain a wide distribution of particle sizes. Many are small enough to be inhaled. A wide variety of particle size will be present around a person infected with EVD.[2]

The potential for EVD transmission through inhalation of aerosols cannot be completely ruled out. Bodily fluids (vomit, diarrhea, blood, saliva) can create particles that are able to be inhaled by someone within close proximity to an infected patient. Cough was identified as a symptom in a 1995 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vomiting also can create an aerosol and has been thought to be a factor in the transmission of some gastrointestinal viruses. Toilet flushing can create an aerosol from particles present from diarrhea.[3]


  1. "What is an Aerosol". Author?. Pub date?. Web 28 Oct 2014 http://aerosols.wustl.edu/education/AerosolBasics/What%20is%20an%20aerosol.htm
  2. "COMMENTARY: Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola". Author Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Rachael Jones, PhD. Pub date Sep 17 2014. Web 28 Oct 2014 http://aerosols.wustl.edu/education/AerosolBasics/What%20is%20an%20aerosol.htm
  3. "COMMENTARY: Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola". Author Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Rachael Jones, PhD. Pub date Sep 17 2014. Web 28 Oct 2014 http://aerosols.wustl.edu/education/AerosolBasics/What%20is%20an%20aerosol.htm