Excerpt from the conclusion: “These laboratory studies have consistently confirmed that survival of the influenza virus in the air and on surfaces is modulated by moisture levels, with the majority showing the lowest level of survival in the range of 40 to 60% RH. While field studies are necessary to confirm our modeling results, our findings suggest that indoor humidification will increase AH and RH to levels shown to reduce levels of the influenza virus. In this way, humidifiers may be an important tool to reduce survival influenza virus in the home. The effects of humidification on influenza virus survival, however, should be further evaluated with careful and controlled laboratory and field studies.”
RBc: The report is clear on its statement of outcomes and limitations.
One of the conclusions includes, “… due to lower air movement between rooms, radiant heat models showed larger increases in moisture levels, and therefore larger decreases in influenza virus.”
You will need to read the report for the significance of this as it relates to the study.
Future research work as suggested by the authors is necessary – I hypothesize the outcomes based on this report, would be further enhanced with radiant based systems using dedicated outdoor air (DOAS) with steam humidification and ERV’s.
You can access the full report at this link:
Citation: Myatt, T.A, Kaufman, M.H., Allen, J.G., MacIntosh, D.L., Fabian, M.P., McDevitt, J.J., Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: the impacts of home humidification, Environmental Health 2010, 9:55
Related subject matter:
- The Health, Safety and Comfort Advantages of Low Temperature Heating Systems - A Literature Review
- Current State of the Science: Health Effects and Indoor Environmental Quality
- Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised controlled trial
- Humidity and its role in thermal comfort