Around the world countries have begun to mitigate the quarantine imposed in connection with the coronavirus, people gradually began to fill public transport, offices, shops and gyms.Air temperature moves up and makes you wonder: is it possible to turn on the air conditioning in the summer heat during a pandemic? It turned edition of the BBC.
Improve the conditioning, the risk of infection?
In short, Yes, air-conditioning, according to scientists, can contribute to the spread of coronavirus. But they cannot be its source.
Thus, it is important to understand where and how to use them.
What science says?
Scientific papers on this subject, as it turned out, while carried out very little and their results are not representative.
For the first time about the role of conditioning in the spread of the coronavirus massively speaking after research by Chinese scientists about the restaurant in Wuhan.
Scientists have discovered that nine people had contracted the coronavirus when sitting close to the air conditioning in the restaurant.
The virus, according to scientists, spread one of the visitors, who had virtually no symptoms. She sat in front of the air conditioner. Later in the nine sitting at the next table and not in contact directly with a woman, test COVID-19 has also been positive.
However, it is important to remember that the sample of this study was small, and the conditions were not laboratory. Therefore, many scientists have reason to doubt its representativeness.
Chinese research has picked up great physician — Dr. Komarovsky.
In his video blog he quoted his results and made a disappointing assumption: “When a virus that we breathe, gets into artificially created climatic equipment air flow, it’s very serious.”
In addition, many recall in this context the cruise liner Diamond Princess, where three thousand people on Board fell ill over 700, and many of them — after the introduction of quarantine on the ship. Doctors suggest that not the last role here was played by the air conditioning system of the ship.
How is the infection?
All the experts say: the source and a “nursery” of coronavirus air conditioning can not be, because the virus is only transmitted from person to person.
However, the air-conditioning system, they say, can actually increase the area of infection, if the room is a sick man.
This is due to the work of most conditioners.
Note that although the conditioning adds to the freshness of the room on a hot day, in fact it is the circulation of the same air.
“There is a common practice: when the air conditioner on, then fully close the Windows. Air conditioning works in such a way that it takes air from the room, cools it and returns back. That is, it creates a recirculation of the air,” says Daniel Brindak, doctor-hygienist.
So when people infected with the virus, sneezes, breathes or coughs, the air flow from the air conditioner may carry these drops, though not very far.
So, remember — the direction of air flow is important.
Do I need to abandon the air conditioning?
Does this mean that you want to opt out of conditioning?
In a word, no.
First, the conditioning in your own apartment or house is much safer than in public places — if you and those who live with you, healthy. And if your home is not visited by a large flow of people.
With regard to offices and restaurants, the risk, of course, more. But to opt out of the conditioning specialists not recommended, because the stay in the summer heat can be even more dangerous, especially for older people.
The main advice of the experts — regularly ventilate the room.
“It makes no sense to forbid people to use air conditioners, because they are used for physical comfort. But definitely a good airing of premises,” — said Daniel Brindak.
In addition, coronaviruses are usually no longer contagious with the fever, and if you can affect the temperature, try to the room was a little warmer than you usually are accustomed in the summer.
In the end, it is necessary to remember about the known rules of stay in the premises: to maintain social distance, to disinfect their hands and avoid touching your face. Because the risk of contamination via surfaces and through direct contact is much more than air conditioning experts.
What to do if the home is sick?
If the house is a man with a coronavirus, the best solution would be to turn off air conditioning and open to ventilate the window.
“Opening the window, you will get much more fresh air, and it will reduce the possible concentration of coronavirus inside the building”, — said Svitlana zagorodnya, head of Department of reproduction of viruses, Institute of Microbiology and Virology. Zabolotny.
If the window cannot be open due to allergies in some of the residents, leave the air conditioning on, but not let it get too cool the air, because coronaviruses feel much better in the cold.
In addition, if possible, close the room where the patient is to the flow of air from the air conditioner does not spread through the apartment.
“In this case, the most important is to keep patients away from the vents” — advises Svetlana Zagorodnyaya.
It also recalls the need to respect the rules of use of air conditioners: “when it’s time to clean it, to correctly direct the flow of cold air to maintain a temperature fluctuation between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius compared to the outdoor conditions, as well as every day to air the room”.