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A paradigm shift to combat indoor respiratory infection

Morawska, Lidia; Allen, Joseph; Bahnfleth, William; Bluyssen, Philomena M.; Boerstra, Atze; Buonanno, Giorgio; Cao, Junji; Dancer, Stephanie J.; Floto, Andres; Franchimon, Francesco; Greenhalgh, Trisha; Haworth, Charles; Hogeling, Jaap; Isaxon, Christina; Jimenez, Jose L.; Kurnitski, Jarek; Li, Yuguo; Loomans, Marcel; Marks, Guy; Marr, Linsey C.; Mazzarella, Livio; Krikor Melikov, Arsen; Miller, Shelly; Milton, Donald K.; Nazaroff, William; Nielsen, Peter V.; Noakes, Catherine; Peccia, Jordan; Prather, Kim; Querol, Xavier; Sekhar, Chandra; Sepp�nen, Olli; Tanabe, Shin-ichi; Tang, Julian W.; Tellier, Raymond; Wai Tham, Kwok; Wargocki, Pawel; Wierzbicka, Aneta; Yao, Maosheng


Lidia Morawska

Joseph Allen

William Bahnfleth

Philomena M. Bluyssen

Atze Boerstra

Giorgio Buonanno

Junji Cao

Andres Floto

Francesco Franchimon

Trisha Greenhalgh

Charles Haworth

Jaap Hogeling

Christina Isaxon

Jose L. Jimenez

Jarek Kurnitski

Yuguo Li

Marcel Loomans

Guy Marks

Linsey C. Marr

Livio Mazzarella

Arsen Krikor Melikov

Shelly Miller

Donald K. Milton

William Nazaroff

Peter V. Nielsen

Catherine Noakes

Jordan Peccia

Kim Prather

Xavier Querol

Chandra Sekhar

Olli Sepp�nen

Shin-ichi Tanabe

Julian W. Tang

Raymond Tellier

Kwok Wai Tham

Pawel Wargocki

Aneta Wierzbicka

Maosheng Yao


There is great disparity in the way we think about and address different sources of environmental infection. Governments have for decades promulgated a large amount of legislation and invested heavily in food safety, sanitation, and drinking water for public health purposes. By contrast, airborne pathogens and respiratory infections, whether seasonal influenza or COVID-19, are addressed fairly weakly, if at all, in terms of regulations, standards, and building design and operation, pertaining to the air we breathe. We suggest that the rapid growth in our understanding of the mechanisms behind respiratory infection transmission should drive a paradigm shift in how we view and address the transmission of respiratory infections to protect against unnecessary suffering and economic losses. It starts with a recognition that preventing respiratory infection, like reducing waterborne or foodborne disease, is a tractable problem.

Journal Article Type Commentary
Acceptance Date May 1, 2021
Online Publication Date May 14, 2021
Publication Date May 14, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 2, 2021
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 372
Issue 6543
Pages 689-691
Public URL
Publisher URL