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Multi-route respiratory infection: when a transmission route may dominate

By Caroline X. Gao, Yuguo Li, Jianjian Wei, Sue Cotton, Matthew Hamilton, Lei Wang, Benjamin J Cowling

Posted 11 Apr 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.06.20055228

The exact transmission route of many respiratory infectious diseases remains a subject for debate to date. The relative contribution ratio of each transmission route is largely undetermined, which is affected by environmental conditions, human behavior, the host and the microorganism. In this study, a detailed mathematical model is developed to investigate the relative contributions of different transmission routes to a multi-route transmitted respiratory infection. It is illustrated that all transmission routes can dominate the total transmission risk under different scenarios. Influential parameters considered include dose-response rate of different routes, droplet governing size that determines virus content in droplets, exposure distance, and virus dose transported to the hand of infector. Our multi-route transmission model provides a comprehensive but straightforward method to evaluate the transmission efficiency of different transmission routes of respiratory diseases and provides a basis for predicting the impact of individual level intervention methods such as increasing close-contact distance and wearing protective masks. (Word count: 153) HighlightsO_LIA multi-route transmission model is developed by considering evaporation and motion of respiratory droplets with the respiratory jet and consequent exposure of the susceptible. C_LIO_LIWe have illustrated that each transmission route may dominate during the influenza transmission, and the influential factors are revealed. C_LIO_LIThe short-range airborne route and infection caused by direct inhalation of medium droplets are highlighted. C_LI

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