• Literature Review: Room Ventilation and Airborne Disease Transmission
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Literature Review: Room Ventilation and Airborne Disease Transmission

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  • Handbook / Manual / Guide by American Society for Healthcare Engineering, 2013
  • Publisher: ASHE

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How does room ventilation affect airborne disease transmission in a health care facility? This monograph addresses the topic through a review of the literature. Noting that the majority of studies conducted on ventilation and disease transmission have been observational or animal studies not applicable to human disease, Farhad Memarzedah, PhD, PE, examines research findings that consider the effects of air changes per hour (ACH) on airborne infection transmission. Current recommended ventilation rates are not always based on hard data, but on experience. The monograph looks at research on hospitals, schools, aircraft, and other vehicles.

The author notes that ACH is an important environmental control in preventing the transmission of infectious disease in public spaces. He stresses, however, that ventilation rate is just one of many factors that affect airborne disease transmission. Considerably more research is needed-in conjunction with rigorous and sustained space-specific risk assessments-before standard ventilation recommendations are changed in any way.

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