Droplet or aerosol ?

July 7, 2020 |

Check out this story: 'Serious threat': Scientists say WHO ignores aerosol risk of coronavirus from Flipboard .

Henry Gifford asks:

What is the difference between droplet and aerosol?

People spit out viral particles, and the particles stay in the air for some time, with a decay rate of X % per time. Maybe below some threshold it is called droplet, and above some threshold it is called aerosol?

 I don't get it. Reminds me of the endless article a few months ago about if the epidemic is a pandemic, or will it become a pandemic and when, then the discussions of the definition of a pandemic…


K. K. Law replies:

I don't have a scientific distinction between the two. The very qualitative and non-scientific difference between the two is droplets will eventually land on some surfaces sooner (maybe in a couple of minutes) than aerosols which could suspend in air for much longer in time.



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