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Editor's note: This is a two-part series examining viral size, transmission of disease, and implications for respiratory protection worn by healthcare workers. Clinicians and infection preventionists may need to rethink what they currently know about respiratory protection in light of several recent studies indicating that the influenza virus can be carried in smaller particles than previously thought. Additionally, there is debate over airborne transmission and what kind of PPE healthcare workers should don in these situations where exposure is imminent.