Liberty prof modeling how COVID-19 spreads when patients use nasal devices


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Liberty University professor is using computer modeling to try to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Mechanical engineer Wayne Strasser was asked by Vapotherm, a company that makes respiratory therapy devices, to look at their nasal cannulas.

According to Strasser, they wanted to see how the devices might make a patient spray particles throughout a room, possibly into HVAC systems, and infect others with the virus.

“The nasal therapy does add risk for spreading the virus,” said Strasser, “but it is mitigated by a mask. So it’s effectively safe to use this on corona patients.”

The nasal cannulas he studied help support a patient’s lung function for respiratory issues that are not dire enough to require a respirator.

The cannulas have been commercially available. The study was to determine if the devices might contribute to the spread of the virus.

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