Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Right Level of Humidity May Be Important Weapon in Fighting Coronavirus, New Studies Show

 Artist's illustration of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. iStock

By David H. Freedman

A potentially important weapon against COVID-19 has emerged from two unrelated and seemingly unremarkable observations.

The first came several years ago when Walter Hugentobler, a Swiss physician who sometimes practices at a clinic in Zurich International Airport, noticed several years ago that pilots and flight attendants seemed unusually susceptible to the flu throughout the year, even though they were generally healthy.

More recently, Hazhir Rahmandad, an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, noticed that COVID-19 tended to spread in his native Iran at different rates from one region to the next, even when population densities were similar.

Both scientists followed up with studies that have converged on an important insight into COVID-19: the spread of the disease is likely to vary significantly with temperature and humidity.  Read more >>