According to researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, an improvement in indoor air quality is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals and nursing homes.
Since the pandemic broke out in early 2020, there have been increasing reports of particle transmission in indoor air in hospitals and nursing homes.
This includes an example in the Netherlands where the virus spread through the ventilation system because unfiltered indoor air was being circulated.
Therefore, the researchers have said that in situations where infected and healthy people may be indoors for extended periods of time, a constant supply of fresh air is required, either through air conditioning or through adequate ventilation.
If the room cannot be adequately ventilated, air purifiers can also be helpful in reducing the concentration of viruses in the room.
The research team emphasized that training hospital and nursing home staff is extremely important to prevent viruses from spreading through indoor air.
Professor Aldred Widensohler, lead author of the study, said: “The complexity of aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, especially indoors, is far from resolved and appropriate guidelines need to be established to protect medical personnel.
‘With this publication we are therefore attempting to make recommendations for measures that could help to contain not only current but also future virus pandemics.
Dr. Ajit Ahlawat added: “As protection against the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via the air in closed rooms, especially in cold and dry weather, we recommend air humidifiers to keep the relative humidity in the room in the range of 40 to 60% and to reduce the risk of a respiratory infection.
“In this middle area, the human mucous membranes are most resistant to infections. In addition, the viruses in the aerosol particles can survive for a shorter time at a relative humidity of about 50% than in drier or more humid air. “
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