Humidity levels affect spread of flu virus

1 Mar 2013, 16:39
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Humidity levels affect spread of flu virus

Humidity levels are crucial in the spread of influenza, shows the research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


During the experiment, scientists placed breathing mannequins in the room filled with spray particles containing the virus. Special sensor that picks up particles was used for analysis. Mannequins were placed at the distance of 2 meters from each other.


Afterwards the particles were picked and analysed in terms of virus containing and probability of human infection, the results showed that at humidity level 23% 70-77% of the particles contained the virus able to penetrate human cells. When the humidity was raised to 43%, the amount of perilous particles fell to 14%. 


The majority of viruses loose their activity after exposure to the humid air in 15 minutes. “The virus actually decomposes at high humidity,” said John Noti from CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


It has been observed that during the high humidity periods in the summer, influenza is rather poorly transmitted. This research showed that the humidity levels affect distribution of the virus indoors as well. It is especially important during the winter time.


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