MIT Bourouiba COVID-19

We are actively engaged with colleagues at MIT,  Harvard, and local hospitals in understanding and mitigating the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19. If you would like to help us accelerate our research during this time of pandemic, we need all the support we can get at this time, please consider making a contribution. You can help support our mission and ongoing COVID-19 efforts here.

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(The below is a selection of recent educational/outreach/policy contributions related to the COVID-19 public health crisis.)

Transmission of respiratory diseases: Materials,  news and updates

To undersand airborne transmission of disease, follow the flow (2021) Knowable Magazine.

Knowable Magazine spoke to Prof. Lydia Bourouiba on how understanding the dynamics of fluids can inform public health measures and help limit the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid-19. 
Technical Sources:

On Routes of Transmission (2014 - now 2021):

How Did We Get Here: What Are Droplets and Aerosols and How Far Do They Go? A Historical Perspective on the Transmission of Respiratory Infectious Diseases (2021) Preprint by Randall, K. and Ewing, E. T. and Marr, L. and Jimenez, J. and Bourouiba, L. 

Le Monde: COVID-19: l'histoire oubliée des recherches sur les aérosols. PDF.

Toronto Star: How a COVID-19 'blind spot' put Ontario's essential worplaces at risk. PDF.


TEDMED (2018) Talk - Bourouiba, L. On routes of transmission and false dichotomy in how routes of respiratory disease transmission are defined, also here.

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, March 2020) article: Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen Emissions: Potential Implications for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19

With associated of exhalation cloud reaching 7-8 meters Video


Epidemic Podcast (March): A False Dichotomy: Airborne versus Droplet /Roxanne Kharsmi and Lydia Bourouiba (transcript here)

WIRED (March), discussion of the Bourouiba Lab's work on the false dichotomy of routes of transmission of respiratory diseases They Say Coronavirus Isn't Airborne—but It's Definitely Borne By Air

The Scientist: How Our Exhalations Help Spread Pathogens Such as SARS-CoV-2

National Geographic - Science Coronavirus coverage: routes of transmission

FOX News (April) - Research outcomes and implications for COVID-19

NBC4  News (April) - on Social Distancing

Bourouiba Group YouTube Media on Respiratory Disease Transmission

US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Virtual Workshop: Prof. Bourouiba's talk here. (slides copyright (c) Bourouiba 2020) and Panel Discussion on What Size Droplets/Aerosols Are Generated by People and How Do They Spread in Air? here.

Bourouiba Group Research Highlighted in ‘Die Abstandsregel in Zeiten von Corona’, by Prof. Detlef Lohse, in German, in the May issue of ‘Physik Journal’, of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society). With English Translation here.

Dr. Oz On changes of guidelines of CDC about routes of transmission and role of ventillation (October)


Genereal Discussions and Re-Opening in time of COVID19 (April 2020-now 2021):

The British Medical Journal (BMJ, March 2021): The return to school is welcome, but we must minise shared air by Z. Qureshi, T. Greenhalgh, and L. Bourouiba.

MedPage Today: What's the Science Behind CDC's Outdoor Mask Guidance?

The Washington Post: Will schools fully reopen? It may depend on whether students have to sit six feet part.

Lost Angeles Times: CDC eases school COVID guidance, allowing desks to be closer.

Safer Wrokspace: The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory teams up with Steelcase to help create safer workspaces

Oxford-MIT Evidence Review: What is the evidence to support the 2-metre social distancing rule to reduce COVID-19 transmission? Joint effort between The MIT Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission and The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

NBC News panel with Drs. D. Heymann, T. Lang, S. Griffiths, and L. Bourouiba.


On Physical Distancing and Transmission (July to now 2020):

The British Medical Journal (BMJ, July 2020): Two meters or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in COVID-19?

Le Monde: Coronavirus: masque, density, aération...évaluez le risque de transmission en un coup d'oeil

USA Today: Which activities have the highest and lowest risk during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Washington Post: Six feet may not be enough to protect against coronvirus, experts warn.

Business Insider: The 6-foot social-distancing rule is based on nearly 80-year-old science. Scientists at MIT and Oxford have created a traffic-light system to use instead.

BBC The Evidence - Transmission:  Panel of international experts (including Prof. Bourouiba) discuss the latest research into Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus which is sweeping through the world and role of relative risk assessments. Prof. Bourouiba also discusses the need for integrated approaches for transmission mitigation, safety in airplanes, and the role that fluid dynamics can play to help re-opening society in the Fall.

BBC NEWS Brasil: Covid-19: tabela ajuda a avaliar risco de infecção cada vez que você vai a um evento social

BBC NEWS World  - Spanish Covid-19: el gráfico que te ayuda a evaluar el riesgo de contagio cada vez que vas a una reunión social


On Masks and Transmission (April - now 2020):

Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID, April 2020) article: Airborne or Droplet Precautions for Health Workers Treating Coronavirus Disease 2019?

 The Atlantic: Everyone thinks they're right about masks: How the coronavirus travels through the air has become one of the most divisive debates in this pandemic.

USAToday Illustration: Coronavirus might spread much farther than 6 feet in the air. CDC says wear a mask in public

BBC News on impact of our work on discussion of masks for the general public.

BBC NEWS on how our work contributed to the change of policy on public face mask wearing.

Toronto Star - Investigations: Why did Canada drag its feet on N95 advice? Some experts say it’s because we had none to spare? PDF.

The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission part of the Greater Boston Pandemic Fabrication Team.



TEDMED 2018 Talk - Bourouiba, L. on routes of transmission and false dichotomy of respiratory disaese transmission

Nature - New Feature (2016) How far exhalations really spread

Feature in Science Translational Medicine (2016) Fluid dynamics of disease transmission

New England Journal of Medicine  (2016) International Media Coverage

Experiments of Fluids (2016) coverage: MIT Spotlight; MIT NEWS; BBC NEWS; CBS NEWS

Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2014) coverage: Science Magazine, MIT news coverage,  MIT Spotlight page, Scientific American, and other press broader coverage, including: The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Sydney Herald, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, The Daily Free Press, Le Figaro, Europe1, etc. with more at Altmetric.

General Overview of our papers and main contributions in this domain featured in special documentary productions:

Fluids and Health International Conference: founded in 2019

MIT-Sneezing Fragmentation.

NPR: Health

Science Friday and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) production: Connecting the Drops

Inside Science Documentary, by the American Institute of Physics:  Fish, Feathers, Fluid, Phlegm and Freaks: Featuring five new stories from the field of fluid dynamics that involve floating, preening, swimming, spitting and sneezing. Our group's segment  discusses  research on fluid dynamics in respiratory disease transmissionstarting at 11:52 min.

MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science Bourouiba Group Feature

Educational Material on Transmission of Respiratory Diseases: ScienceFriday.

More ressources here.