Health

Can better Ventilation For Coronavirus Lower Transmission Rates?

ventilation for coronavirus
Image: kai Stachowiak (publicdomainpictures.net)

Since the past few months, it has been established that airborne transmission plays a fundamental role in spreading the coronavirus infection amongst people. In addition, health agencies including the World Health Organization have also stated that airborne spread is more likely to take place indoors rather than in open public places, which is why researchers are now examining whether better ventilation for coronavirus can help in reducing the risk of spread of the infection.

In the next few weeks, the change in the weather is likely to lead to an increase in the number of new infections. Part of the reason why this will happen is that the majority of people will move most of their activities indoors to stay warm and avoid catching a cold.

This also means that people are more likely to stay at home or gather at clubs, bars, coffee shops, and other similar places instead of going to the park. According to health experts, although the number of people going out will reduce, it may not necessarily help with lowering the transmission rates of the virus but may actually have the exact opposite effects.

Read also: Damage from Frequent Hand Washing? Here’s What You Can Do.

Most of the indoor public spaces, in contrast to open spaces, are small and congested. This means that it is often difficult to maintain social distance and stay safe when going to such a place. Secondly, since people have also been not wearing masks as often as before inside restaurants and bars, it is likely going to pave the way for multiple coronavirus outbreaks.

In addition, airborne spread of the coronavirus usually happens indoors because nearly all of the indoor public places do not have an efficient system for ventilation. Lack of flow in the air makes it easier for the virus to spread from one person to another via aerosol released after sneezing coughing or even other activities such as talking.

Till now, many researchers have emphasized the importance of having ventilation in offices, gyms, and other similar places. However, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, shows that certain ventilation systems can increase the risk of airborne spread rather than decrease it.

Installing any ventilation system is not the solution to the prevention of airborne transmission of the virus. According to the findings of the new study, which appears in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, the most common system, which is mixing ventilation increases the risk of virus spread.

The most effective method of ventilation which can decrease the risk is displacement ventilation but the system is only present in very few buildings. For places installing new systems, choosing displacement ventilation is recommended but what about those which do not have it?

Regardless of the system of ventilation for coronavirus, researchers state that one preventive measure can be equally effective which is wearing a mask. A face covering cannot only stop the spread of the virus but can protect from it as well and should be worn at any place with people for maximum protection even if it is indoors.

 

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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