Can humidity help prevent the spread of the influenza virus?Published 5:47am Sunday, January 13, 2013
By Elizabeth Baier
Minnesota Public Radio News
ROCHESTER — A Mayo Clinic researcher is testing the theory that controlling indoor humidity levels can help control the influenza virus in transmission hotspots like schools, hospitals, daycare centers and churches.
The virus can spread quickly in those areas, especially in the winter time when low humidity levels help the influenza virus survive longer outside the human body.
At Lincoln K-8 Choice School in Rochester, Tyler Koep has placed 30 little square sensors all around the building. For the last two years, he’s used them to track the temperature and humidity levels.
Koep is trying to determine if raising the humidity level inside the school during the dry winter months could decrease the flu’s survival rate and transmission. And he’s using standard store-bought humidifiers to raise those levels.
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