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Indoor humidity can affect the spread of coronavirus

Indoor humidity can affect the spread of coronavirus

Recent studies have shown that air humidity can affect the rate at which coronavirus spreads indoors.

At the same time, the virus circulates better at low humidity levels. This conclusion was reached by scientists in the German city of Leipzig and in the Indian city of New Delhi, writes DW.

“If the relative humidity in a room is below 40 percent, the particles released by infected people absorb less water, so they stay light, fly farther through the room, and are more likely to enter the body of healthy people,” explained one of the researchers.

Scientists note that the virus spreads mainly through direct contact with infected or contaminated surfaces. In particular, mainly by airborne droplets, where aerosols — mixtures of the smallest particles with air — are considered an essential route of transmission.

As part of this study, a team of scientists from Tropos and the National Physical Laboratory (CSIR) in New Delhi analyzed 10 international studies that examined the effects of air humidity on the spread and infection of influenza pathogens and various coronaviruses between 2007 and 2020.

The researchers advise controlling indoor humidity levels in addition to keeping distance and wearing a mask.

It is noted that a relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent can reduce the spread of viruses and their penetration through the nasal mucosa. This is especially important given the approaching cold season when people spend more time in heated rooms.

“Indoor cold and temperate climates tend to have very dry air during the heating season. This could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, ” the researcher explained.

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