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Can Higher Humidity Prevent the Flu?

Humidity and the fluHow many of you have gotten your flu shot this year?  Raise your hand!  The CDC continues to recommend the flu vaccine as the number one way to prevent the flu.  In the United States, flu season usually starts around October and November, and it peaks in December-February.  Though for some, the influenza virus may just mean a few days in bed, for others, especially young children and the elderly, the flu can be deadly.  This is why it is so important to do all that you can to protect yourself and your family.

 

The vaccine may be the best way to prevent the flu, but there are other preventative measures you can and should take during flu season.

Other than the flu vaccine, some other prevention measures include: washing your hands, staying away from those who are sick, and avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.  These are all pretty common, but you may not realize that another you can do is- control your home’s humidity.

In recent years, studies have been done on the effect that humidity has on the flu.  Winter is known for its dry, dry air that causes your skin to crack, but the dry air may do more damage than that.  It seems the flu virus may thrive in dry air, which is why it is important to add humidity to your home.  An experiment using “coughing” and “breathing” mannequins by the CDC produced the following results:

“At humidity levels of 23 percent, 70 to 77 percent of the flu virus particles were still able to cause an infection an hour after the coughing simulation. But when humidity levels were raised to 43 percent, just 14 percent of the virus particles had the ability to infect. Most of the flu particles became inactive 15 minutes after they were released into the humid air” (The Weather Channel).

Pretty cool, right?  With a whole home humidifier you can easily control and raise the humidity of your entire home, which could decrease your family’s chances of getting sick this flu season.  For more information about whole home humidifiers, contact Flame!

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