Study: Modern air conditioning may increase COVID-19 risk

U.S. & World

(WDIV)  As children return to indoor classrooms and colder weather increases indoor activities for everyone, research into the way ventilation systems can help or hurt us when it comes to COVID-19 is important.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom recently published a study in the Journal of fluid Mechanics looking at the effects of ventilation on the indoor spread of coronavirus. They concluded that many modern office buildings may increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Evidence has increasingly shown that coronavirus is spread through larger droplets and tiny aerosols that are expelled when we breathe, talk, laugh, cough or sneeze. The smallest aerosols can remain suspended in the air and travel significant distances indoors.

Many indoor heating and cooling systems have been designed to maximize energy efficiency, leading to a decreased exchange with fresh outdoor air. The very design of many ventilation systems can also contribute to contaminated aerosols staying in a room.

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