MCALLEN – COVID-19 could be spreading through air conditioners particularly here in the South due to high temperatures, according to an infectious disease expert.
“There’s a lot of outdoor air being brought in with most air conditioning systems specially when it’s very hot and humid outside,” said Edward Nardell a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Rather than cleansing the air of the virus air conditioners are recirculating it, he added.
There is no evidence air conditioners are to blame for the spread of the virus but the CDC stated three families in China were infected by airflow direction in a restaurant consistent with droplet transmission.
“It is not as if COVID is breathing in air conditioners but rather it is because as temperatures rise outside. People run inside for comfort and windows are closed and the potential for breathing air that someone just exhaled goes up,” Nardell said.
The CDC recommends restaurants improve ventilation. According to Nardell, there are two ways you can improve your ventilation at home.
“You can filter air and there are room air cleaners and then the alternative is Upper Room Germicidal UV.”
Experts recommend sitting in the patio when visiting a restaurant.
“We don’t want to see crowded bars and crowded spaces even though it feels comfortable, it’s cool, it’s dangerous in terms of re-breathed air,” Nardell added.
Nardell added that proper ventilation decreases the spread of COVID-19.