A new article on the Telegraph website, shows that adjusting both temperature and humidity can reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus indoors.
The article taken from a new research study suggests the virus which causes COVID-19 thrives in low temperatures and dry air. But even at warmer temperatures, droplets of the virus remain stable for far longer if humidity is low.
The Telegraph article goes on to say:
“During winter, as the air gets colder, it also dries out. But putting on the heating indoors also reduces the amount of moisture in the air – as well as inside our sinuses. As mucus gets drier, it becomes worse at trapping infections in our airways.
The American study examined how the virus is affected by different temperatures and humidities.
“At 10C with a relative humidity of 40 per cent, virus droplets stayed active for as long as 27 hours. But at 27C when humidity was higher, at 65 per cent, the half life was just an hour and a half.”
Research has already indicated that sunlight and ventilation help prevent the spread of the virus in the outdoors. But indoors if the atmosphere is cool and dry, with poor ventilation then the virus will thrive for longer.
So what can we do to help reduce the spread of infection?
The Telegraph concludes that: “Humidifiers, or even a glass of water on top of the radiator, can help to increase the amount of moisture in the air. But experts say it’s also worth opening a window – this will also improve ventilation and stop the air from becoming stagnant.”