The Benefits of Controlling Humidity to Control Viruses

February 7, 2011

This time of year I seem to be surrounded by people coughing and sneezing, to say nothing of the alerts over swine flu, so it seemed timely that I came across a new study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health which shows that, by controlling humidity indoors, humidifiers have a potential positive impact in reducing the survival of influenza viruses in the home.

Maintaining indoor humidity at a level of 40 to 60 % actually reduces the risk of transmission of influenza viruses. Unfortunately, during winter, indoor air can have a humidity level as low as 10%, posing a risk factor particularly for the elderly and very young.

Humidifiers not only regulate the level of humidity in indoor air, but are also recommended by doctors when someone suffers a cold. They help loosen congestion and soothe a sore throat. This is especially important for children, since their smaller nostrils get bunged up more easily.

I can remember when central heating first became popular (don’t’ work out my age from that please) it was common to find bowls of water laid down in the hearth or dotted strategically round the room to put some more moisture into the air, but happily technology has caught up.

I was sent a humidifier to try that has been recommended by Vick’s, and that brings back other childhood memories of red flannel and very cold winters, but I digress again. It is a first resort for helping a bunged up nose and the VH5000 Cool Mist Mini-Ultrasonic Humidifier will help to reduce the survival of flu viruses and ease conditions such as a dry nose, throat, eyes and skin discomfort.

It is certainly small, quiet, and inconspicuous which is a big plus in its favour for me and runs for up to eight hours, so ideal in a bedroom. It gives out a cool mist, so is suitable to use around children and it can also be used with Vicks menthol scent VapoPads that also help relieve congestion and cold symptoms – and you needn’t wear the red flannel unless you want to. I didn’t have a cold, but I found that it helped me sleep better as the Vick menthol helped prevent a stuffy nose, which can sometimes keep me awake. The cat sleeping on my head probably doesn’t help either!

If you want to improve the air quality of your home, and have the best conditions for avoiding colds and flu then you will find the VH5000 Cool Mist Mini-Ultrasonic humidifier in pharmacies and stores such as Boots.


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