Simulation study of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spread by breathing, coughing and sneezing

Filipe Ferreira


The aim of this work was to simulate the circulation of COVID-19 infectious particles expelled by breathing, coughing and sneezing, with velocities of 5 m/s, 15 m/s and 40 m/s, respectively, using COMSOL Multiphysics software. These particles were differentiated into water droplets with 100 µm and water vapor aerosols with 10 µm.

Regarding the results, it was found that in all events the droplets moved only in the vertical direction due to gravity, unlike aerosols that have low density and see the gravity be neglected. It was also observed that after 10 minutes, aerosols can spread about 75 cm horizontally when breathing, about 1.5 m when coughing and about 2 m when sneezing, a distance defined by health organizations as a minimum for social distancing.