Title

Vertical outbreak of COVID-19 in high-rise buildings: The role of sewer stacks and prevention measures

Publication Name

Current Opinion in Environmental Science and Health

Abstract

COVID-19 outbreaks in high-rise buildings suggested the transmission route of fecal-aerosol-inhalation due to the involvement of viral aerosols in sewer stacks. The vertical transmission is likely due to the failure of water traps that allow viral aerosols to spread through sewer stacks. This process can be further facilitated by the chimney effect in vent stack, extract ventilation in bathrooms, or wind-induced air pressure fluctuations. To eliminate the risk of such vertical disease spread, the installation of protective devices is highly encouraged in high-rise buildings. Although the mechanism of vertical pathogen spread through drainage pipeline has been illustrated by tracer gas or microbial experiments and numerical modeling, more research is needed to support the update of regulatory and design standards for sewerage facilities.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Volume

29

Article Number

100379

Funding Number

DP190100385

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100379