When in a public place, the risk of transmission of viruses, bacteria or disease would have been great and almost inevitable. But a new study from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said you might not catch the flu if you were in a high humidity level.
Studies conducted to determine the effect of moisture level on the spread of flu viruses takes place in health care facilities such as clinics and hospitals.
To simulate the transmission or spread of the flu virus in the health care facility, a team of researchers has used a mannequin that can ‘cough’ and ‘breathe’ which is placed at a distance of each as far as 6 feet in a room.
Then researchers shed flu virus particles into the corners of the room when the mannequin ‘cough’, then when mannequin ‘breathe’, a researcher released a tool to capture particles near the mouth of the mannequin. The particles were collected and observed its ability to infect human cells.
From there it is known on the humidity level of 23 percent, 70-77 percent of flu virus particles are capable of causing an infection of one hour post-simulation. But when the humidity level increased to 43 percent, only 14 percent of reported viral particles are able to infect. In fact most of the cold particles become inactive 15 minutes after it is released into the air moist.
“The virus is so fall when humidity increases,” said researcher John Noti from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, USA.
In addition, high levels of humidity also affects the particle flu-small or large. This is important, the article flu smaller particles tend to last longer in the air than large particles, whereas large particles easily fall to the ground.
But the researchers noticed an attempt to increase the humidity around the health care facilities such as hospitals may become a challenge as the cost and time constraints. Only researchers suggested that hospitals consider to prioritize increased humidity in the rooms such as in rooms with a high risk or spread of the flu virus in the rooms where patients are prone to flu like intensive care unit (ICU).
“Another important thing is the humidity in the room should also not be too high because it will be easy to grow mushrooms,” said Noti as reported by LiveScience, Friday (03/01/2013).