A recent study shows that increasing the humidity in indoor spaces can reduce the risk of the virus spreading to hospitals and other buildings at low cost and without producing negative effects.
Survival time of SARS coronaviruses
It is now known that the survival time of SARS coronaviruses on surfaces differs depending on the type of surface. Low temperatures (6 ° C in the tests performed) and very low humidity (about 30%) allow viruses to survive for long periods of time on surfaces of all kinds and in the air.
Even at temperatures of 20-30 ° C the viruses had a longer survival period, but only when the air was dry. Very high temperatures (above 30 ° C) make coronaviruses inactive.
The influence of humidity and temperature on virus survival time
It is assumed that COVID-19 has a similar behavior in relation to humidity and temperature. In homes, office spaces and public transport, where the air is usually heated between 20 ° C and 24 ° C for comfort, the humidity is relatively low, being between 20% and 40%.
These are the ideal environmental conditions for COVID-19 virus to survive on surfaces and in the air for a long time and, consequently, to promote greater transmission through contact with contaminated surfaces and inhalation from the air.
Humidifying the air acts in a proactive way to combat the spread of viruses by infected people, even before the onset of any symptoms or a diagnosis. In addition, the respiratory system is protected due to more efficient cleaning of the airways. Increasing air humidity by humidification contributes, along with other measures, to reducing the risk of the virus spreading to hospitals and other buildings, at low cost and without producing negative effects.
Humidification of interior spaces in different types of spaces
As approximately 58% of SARS cases worldwide have been generated by exposure to hospital conditions, humidifying indoor spaces in healthcare facilities would be a particularly effective intervention to reduce the surface survival of viruses in this new world. coronavirus strain.
Humidification of the air can be easily implemented in both private and public buildings, providing people with a simple way to actively combat contamination with this virus for which there are currently no effective vaccines or preventive drug treatments. In addition to reducing the spread, this intervention also allows each of us to proactively take steps to protect our health and the health of our loved ones.
Equipment that allow air humidity control
We are not able to control the weather in the open air and this has allowed this coronavirus to cross borders. However, we are able to manage the indoor environment to protect our health and reduce viral diseases by regulating the characteristic factors of indoor air, such as temperature, humidity and fresh air content. When maintaining indoor temperatures from 20 ° C to 24 ° C for comfort, it is essential to reduce the risk of infection while maintaining higher levels of humidity and air ventilation.
Air humidity can be controlled by humidifiers integrated in the air treatment units or independently, with automatic adjustment and timing. Currently, facility management or air conditioning companies could provide such industrial equipment for rent or purchase. It is a simple measure that in addition to the classic protection measures: social distance, insulation, gloves, mask and disinfection of surfaces, can increase the chances of not being contaminated with COVID 19.