Virus diffusion in isolation rooms

P. H. Kao, R. J. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


In hospitals, the ventilation of isolation rooms operating under closed-door conditions is vital if the spread of viruses and infection is to be contained. Engineering simulation, which employs computational fluid dynamics, provides a convenient means of investigating airflow behaviour in isolation rooms for various ventilation arrangements. A cough model was constructed to permit the numerical simulation of virus diffusion inside an isolation room for different ventilation system configurations. An analysis of the region of droplet fallout and the dilution time of virus diffusion of coughed gas in the isolation room was also performed for each ventilation arrangement. The numerical results presented in this paper indicate that the parallel-directional airflow pattern is the most effective means of controlling flows containing virus droplets. Additionally, staggering the positions of the supply vents at the door end of the room relative to the exhaust vents on the wall behind the bed head provides effective infection control and containment. These results suggest that this particular ventilation arrangement enhances the safety of staff when performing medical treatments within isolation rooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-345
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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