Corona Studies: Humidity influences the spread of aerosols

24.08.2020

 

 New study results on COVID-19: SARS-CoV-2 spreads to a not inconsiderable proportion via aerosols, this is becoming increasingly clear. This could be counteracted with a certain level of humidity in closed rooms.

SARS-CoV-2 is likely to spread more strongly in dry rooms.
Physicists have evaluated ten studies that examined the influence of humidity on survival, spread and infection with influenza and various coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1, MERS and SARS-CoV-2) between 2007 and 2020. Result: If the relative humidity of the room air is below 40 percent, the aerosols emitted by the infected absorb less water, are lighter and thus remain in the air longer. They can also cover a longer distance. At this level of humidity, the probability that virus-containing aerosols will be inhaled by non-infected people in the environment is higher than with moist air. The researchers from the Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig therefore recommend, in addition to the usual measures such as keeping your distance, also to control the indoor air. A relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent can reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its absorption through the nasal mucosa.

Translated from Ärtztezeitung vom 21.08.2020

Aerosol and Air Quality Research 2020; online 28. Juli