Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Opening Windows May Be The Best Way Of Preventing Transmission Of Airborne Infection

Date:
February 27, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Opening windows may be the best way of preventing transmission of airborne infection. A study of eight hospitals in Peru has shown that opening windows and doors provided ventilation more than double that of mechanically ventilated negative-pressure rooms and 18 times that of rooms with windows and doors closed.

MDRTB ward in a Lima hospital. (Credit: Photo by Rod Escombe)
Credit: Photo by Rod Escombe

A study of eight hospitals in Peru has shown that opening windows and doors provided ventilation more than double that of mechanically ventilated negative-pressure rooms and 18 times that of rooms with windows and doors closed.

The researchers, led by Rod Escombe from Imperial College London, compared the airflow in 70 naturally ventilated clinical rooms such as respiratory isolation rooms, TB wards, respiratory wards, general medical wards, outpatient consulting rooms, waiting rooms, and emergency departments with 12 mechanically ventilated negative-pressure respiratory isolation rooms built after 2000.

Even at the lowest of wind speeds, natural ventilation exceeded mechanical ventilation. Facilities built more than 50 years ago, characterized by large windows and high ceilings, had greater ventilation than modern naturally ventilated rooms. The authors went on to calculate what these results might mean for transmission of infection and estimated that in mechanically ventilated rooms 39% of susceptible individuals would become infected following 24 h of exposure to untreated TB patients compared with 33% in modern and 11% in pre-1950 naturally ventilated facilities with windows and doors open.

The authors conclude that opening windows and doors maximizes natural ventilation and that the risk of airborne contagion is lower than with mechanical ventilation systems. Old-fashioned clinical areas with high ceilings and large windows provided the greatest protection.

In a related perspective article Peter Wilson, from University College London, concludes that although "natural ventilation is not an easy solution for patients in countries where winters are cold ... the current practice of sealing in the local environment is probably the wrong route for hospital wards".

Citation: Escombe AR, Oeser CC, Gilman RH, Navincopa M, Ticona E, et al. (2007) Natural ventilation for the prevention of airborne contagion. PLoS Med 4(2): e68. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040068)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Opening Windows May Be The Best Way Of Preventing Transmission Of Airborne Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105845.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, February 27). Opening Windows May Be The Best Way Of Preventing Transmission Of Airborne Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105845.htm
Public Library of Science. "Opening Windows May Be The Best Way Of Preventing Transmission Of Airborne Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105845.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins