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Higher indoor humidity inactivates flu virus particles

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Higher humidity levels indoors can significantly reduce the infectivity of influenza virus particles released by coughing, according to new research.

Higher humidity levels indoors can significantly reduce the infectivity of influenza virus particles released by coughing, according to research published February 27 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by John Noti and colleagues from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers tested the effect of relative humidity on the capacity of flu virus released in a simulated 'cough' to re-infect cells.

They found that an hour after being released in a room at a relative humidity of 23% or less, 70-77% of viral particles retained their infectious capacity, but when humidity was increased to about 43%, only 14% of the virus particles were capable of infecting cells.

Most of this inactivation occurred within the first fifteen minutes of the viral particles being released in the high-humidity condition. The study concludes that maintaining indoor relative humidity at levels greater than 40% can significantly reduce the infectious capacity of aerosolized flu virus.


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


Journal Reference:

  1. John D. Noti, Francoise M. Blachere, Cynthia M. McMillen, William G. Lindsley, Michael L. Kashon, Denzil R. Slaughter, Donald H. Beezhold. High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Influenza Virus from Simulated Coughs. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e57485 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057485

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Higher indoor humidity inactivates flu virus particles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183456.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, February 27). Higher indoor humidity inactivates flu virus particles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183456.htm
Public Library of Science. "Higher indoor humidity inactivates flu virus particles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183456.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

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