HEALTH

Study: Humidifiers may aid in reduction of airborne flu viruses

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON and BOSTON A study sponsored by Kaz, the manufacturer of Vicks humidifiers, found that such devices as humidifiers may play a role in reducing airborne flu viruses in the home.

The study, "Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: The impacts of home humidification," was published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health. The study examined the role of heat and humidity indoors and found that when homes are kept at the optimal 40% to 60% relative humidity level, airborne flu virus survival time decreases — up to 30% for homes with radiant heat and 17% for homes with forced air heat. The researchers also suggested that since the water vapor levels in the air during the winter time are low, consumers should use a device known as a hygrometer to determine whether or not the humidity indoors is at an optimal level.

"Eliminating a considerable share of airborne influenza viruses through the use of a humidifier could be very beneficial to households this winter," said Ted Myatt, senior scientist at consulting firm Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., and biological safety officer at the Harvard Institute of Medicine in Massachusetts. "However, families should be careful not to go overboard with over-humidifying, because the optimal relative humidity range for indoor comfort and decreased influenza is between 40% and 60%."

Click here to read the full text of the journal article.

In related news, Kaz recently launched a Facebook page devoted to informing families about some of the best defenses against colds and the flu.

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Pfizer recalls lot of ThermaCare HeatWraps Menstrual

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer’s over-the-counter division recalled one lot of a ThermaCare product over the possibility of leaks.

 

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare announced Friday the voluntary recall of lot number E06931 of its ThermaCare HeatWraps Menstrual product and notified the Food and Drug Administration.

 

 

The company said possible leaks in the wraps could cause skin injury, such as irritation and burning.

 

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AstraZeneca-Bristol drug just as effective as generic on market, trial results show

BY Alaric DeArment

STOCKHOLM An investigational diabetes drug works as well as a generic already on the market, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Friday by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

 

The two companies said phase-3 trial results showed that their investigational drug dapagliflozin combined with the widely available generic metformin was as effective as glipizide combined with metformin, compared with metformin alone. In addition, patients in the dapagliflozin group experienced weight loss, compared with weight gain in those taking glipizide, as well as a reduced number of patients experiencing abnormally low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia.

 

 

Results from the study were presented at the 46th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

 

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