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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Amgen recalls certain lots of Epogen, Procrit

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Several lots of two drugs used to treat anemia are being recalled due to possible contamination.

 

Amgen said Friday that it was voluntarily recalling certain lots of Epogen and Procrit (epoetin alfa) from distributors, wholesalers, healthcare providers and pharmacies as a precaution due to the possible presence of extremely thin and barely visible glass flakes known as lamellae that result from an interaction between the drugs and the glass vials used to store them.

 

 

The drugs are used to treat anemia resulting from chemotherapy, kidney failure and HIV therapy.

 

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Tenn.-based pharmacy acquired by Capital Group Holdings

BY Alaric DeArment

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Capital Group Holdings has acquired Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, Tenn., Capital Group said Friday.

Main Street Family Pharmacy provides retail prescriptions, compounding, durable medical equipment and home infusion services, as well as disposable medical office supplies. The pharmacy also specializes in comprehending compounding services, providing products for hormone-replacement therapy, dermatology and other areas.

“The acquisition of Main Street Family Pharmacy provides us with a strong foundation in the health-and-wellness market and will enable us to pursue additional strategic opportunities,” Capital Group Holdings CEO Christopher Galvin said.

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