With COVID-19 still looming and the flu season right around the corner, there’s never been a more critical time to strengthen your defenses.
And in addition to hand washing and vitamin C, there’s another simple virus-fighting tip that is completely flying under the radar: Using a humidifier in your home.
In Dr. Marc Micozzi’s Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol, he explains research has shown that the number of viruses in the air goes up as the humidity goes down. And this goes for all viruses—including COVID-19.
In fact, earlier this year, researchers at Canada’s McMaster University analyzed the impact of climate in the early spread of COVID-19 in Spain. They confirmed that, like the seasonal flu, coronavirus spreads less effectively when the humidity is high. They estimated that for each 1 percent increase in humidity, viral transmission would drop by 3 percent.
Another study at Australia’s University of Sydney came to a similar, but more troubling conclusion. The Sydney team predicts that each 1 percent decrease in humidity could boost coronavirus cases by 6 percent.
So can adding a little humidity to your home help ward off viruses? According to recent research, the answer is yes…
Humidity can reduce flu survival rate by 31 percent
Scientists have confirmed that when the air is dry, respiratory droplets that carry viral cells stay in the air. In heavier, humid air, the droplets don’t circulate as easily, reducing risk of viral transmission.
And recently, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health monitored humidity in areas where the air was warmed by either radiant heat or forced-air in residential homes.
They measured absolute humidity and concentrations of flu virus before and after treating the rooms with portable humidifiers. They found that a humidifier that distributed about one cup of water per hour increased the absolute humidity by 11 percent, compared to no humidifier use.
And the effect on viral exposure was impressive. The boost in humidity reduced the survival of the flu virus by as much as 31 percent. This change in humidity was most effective in rooms where a humidifier was in use.
Based on research like this, Dr. Micozzi recommends using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
For more tips on avoiding the flu this season, check out Dr. Micozzi’s full Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol.
Click here to get started today, or to learn more about protecting your lungs in all seasons.
“Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection” PNAS 2019; 116(22), 10905-10910. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1902840116
“Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: the impacts of home humidification” Environmental Health 2010; 9, 55. doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-9-55
“Reduced humidity linked to increased COVID-19 risk” MedicalXpress, 6/1/20. (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-humidity-linked-covid-.html)
“Hotter Temperatures, Higher Humidity May Reduce Covid-19 Spread” Physician’s Weekly, 6/16/20. (https://www.physiciansweekly.com/hotter-temperatures-higher-humidity-may-reduce-covid-19-spread/)