Winter may bring along increased COVID-19 risk with exposure in Ventilation systems: study suggests

Tidio Live Chat Software - Add Tidio live chat software to your website in minutes. Contact visitors and turn them into happy customers. Enhance their experience and boost your sales. Get it for Free

WP Rocket - WordPress Caching Plugin

Must Read

Ventilation systems in many buildings, which are designed to keep temperatures comfortable, may increase the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19, particularly during the winter season when people prefer to stay indoors, says a new study.

Scientists, including those from the University of Cambridge in the UK, found that widely-used ‘mixing ventilation’ systems, which are designed to keep conditions uniform in all parts of the room, disperse airborne contaminants evenly throughout the space.

Also Read

According to the study, published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, these contaminants may include droplets and aerosols, potentially containing viruses such as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

With evidence increasingly indicating that the coronavirus is spread primarily via droplets and aerosols expelled as people cough, sneeze, talk, or breathe, the findings underscore the need for good ventilation and mask-wearing to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk.

Elegant Themes - The most popular WordPress theme in the world and the ultimate WordPress Page Builder. Get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Get it for Free

Based on studies conducted so far, the researchers said indoor transmission is far more common than outdoor transmission — likely due to increased exposure times and decreased dispersion rates for droplets and aerosols.

As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere and people start spending more time inside, understanding the role of ventilation is critical to estimating the risk of contracting the virus and helping slow its spread- Paul Linden from the University of Cambridge.

Small respiratory aerosols containing the virus are transported along with the carbon dioxide produced by breathing, and are carried around a room by ventilation flows, Linden said.

“Insufficient ventilation can lead to high carbon dioxide concentration, which in turn could increase the risk of exposure to the virus,” he explained.

According to the scientists, air flow within the building works in one of two main modes — mixing ventilation or displacement ventilation.

They said the former mode is the most common, where vents are placed to keep the air in a space well mixed so that temperature and contaminant concentrations are kept uniform throughout the space.

The second mode, displacement ventilation has vents placed at the bottom and the top of a room, creating a cooler lower zone, and a warmer upper zone, and warm air is extracted through the top part of the room, the researchers said.

Since exhaled breath is also warm, most of it accumulates in the upper zone, they explained.

If the interface between the zones is high enough, the study said contaminated air can be extracted by the ventilation system rather than breathed in by someone else.

The scientists suggest that when designed properly, displacement ventilation could reduce the risk of mixing and cross-contamination of breath, thereby mitigating the risk of exposure.

These two concerns are related, but different, and there is tension between them, which has been highlighted during the pandemic- Rajesh Bhagat, another co-author of the study from the University of Cambridge.

Maximising ventilation, while at the same time keeping temperatures at a comfortable level without excessive energy consumption is a difficult balance to strike- Bhagat said.

In order to model how the coronavirus or similar viruses spread indoors, the scientists believe it is important to know where people’s breath goes when they exhale, and how that changes depending on ventilation.

Using these data, we can estimate the risk of catching the virus while indoors- Linden said.

In the study, the scientists explored a range of different modes of exhalation — nasal breathing, speaking and laughing, each both with and without a mask — by imaging the heat associated with the exhaled breath.

When sitting still, humans give off heat, and since hot air rises, when you exhale, the breath rises and accumulates near the ceiling- said Bhagat.

The researchers said laughing, in particular, creates a large disturbance, suggesting that if an infected person without a mask was laughing indoors, it would greatly increase the risk of transmission.

One thing we could clearly see is that one of the ways that masks work is by stopping the breath’s momentum- said Linden.

While pretty much all masks will have a certain amount of leakage through the top and sides, it doesn’t matter that much, because slowing the momentum of any exhaled contaminants reduces the chance of any direct exchange of aerosols and droplets as the breath remains in the body’s thermal plume and is carried upwards towards the ceiling- Linden said.

According to the scientists, a three-layered mask decreases the amount of those contaminants that are recirculated through the room by ventilation.

Keep windows open and wear a mask appears to be the best advice. Clearly, that’s less of a problem in the summer months, but it’s a cause for concern in the winter months- Linden said.

iThemes WordPress Hosting

Stay updated

Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss an update on the latest tech, gaming, startup, how to guide, deals and more.



- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Grow Your Business

Place your brand in front of tech-savvy audience. Partner with us to build brand awareness, increase website traffic, generate qualified leads, and grow your business.

- Advertisement -

Grow Your Business

Get these business solutions, tools and services to help your business grow.

Elementor -Join 5,000,000+ Professionals Who Build Better Sites With Elementor. Build your website with 100% visual design that loads faster and speeds up the process of building them.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket - Speed up your website with the most powerful caching plugin in the world. The website speed increase means better SEO ranking, user experience, and conversation. It’s a fact that Google loves a fast site.


Kinsta - If you are looking for WordPress managed hosting, Kinsta is in the leading front. Kinsta provides WordPress hosting for a small or large business that helps take care of all your needs regarding your website with cutting-edge technology.


OptinMonster - Instantly boost leads and grow revenue with the #1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world. 700,000+ websites are using OptinMonster to turn their traffic into leads, subscribers, and sales.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
ChatGPT Reaches 100 Million Users in Two Months Microsoft’s Teams Get OpenAI-Based Features WhatsApp New Feature that Allows Users to Create Calling Shortcuts Instagram Working On Twitter-like Paid Verification Feature OnePlus Ace 2 Specs Exposed Online Realme GT Neo 5 Full Specs Revealed  Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: The New Android King Twitter To End Free API February 9 MLS Season Pass Now Available On Apple TV App Tesla To Increase Giga Shanghai EV Production to 20,000 Weekly 
OpenAI Releases Tool To Detect AI-generated Text Tesla Records Double Net Profit in 2022 India to Produce Upcoming iPhones: Trade Minister Japanese Professor Developed A Power Semiconductor made of Diamond Google Releases New Product for India’s Merchants Indian EV Startup Unveil Two AutoBalancing Electric Scooters OPPO Find X6 Pro Images Render via Weibo Sony Develops New Tech to Reduce Noise of Image Sensors