The problem with winter: Indoor heating creates an easy pathway for coronavirus to spread

pa frosty window
Credit: BBC

It is obvious that in winter, indoor heating causes a difference between indoor and outdoor temperature. But what we are increasingly coming to understand is that by heating our buildings we are causing a reduction in the level of indoor relative humidity (RH), which has a significant impact on disease spread.

This comparatively moisture-free air provides a clear path for airborne particles of viruses such as SARS-CoV2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19. Warm, dry air also reduces the ability of our body’s cilia, which are hairlike projections on cells lining airways, to remove viral particles and prevent them from reaching the lungs. Finally, our own research indicates that the immune system’s ability to respond to pathogens is suppressed in drier environments.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Anti-vax conspiracy propaganda movement aiming to derail successful rollout of coronavirus vaccines

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues through spring and into summer, this research could play a vital role in how we manage and ultimately overcome the disease. This is why I and others specializing in immunobiology and infection control are urging the scientific community to support our petition, which calls on the WHO to urgently put the link between indoor air humidity and the transmission of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, at the front of the global health debate.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend