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Why is monitoring your home's humidity beneficial to your health?

Research indicates the flu virus is less likely to spread in homes with high humidity

ATLANTA — ATLANTA – As researchers look into the environment’s impact on the coronavirus, medical experts seem to agree that monitoring the humidity inside your home can help protect your health.

If you’re thrifty, you don’t think twice about checking the thermostat to monitor the temperature inside your house. It’s a lot less common to find someone who monitors their home’s humidity.

Dr. Jeff Gusky, an ER doctor from Texas, is a major proponent of avoiding low humidity, or dry air, inside your home.

“I believe that moist air reduces the risk of surface viruses in your home and in your workplace,” says Gusky.

There is medical research that shows the flu virus spreads easier when the humidity is low and the air inside your home is dry.  Air that is moist, according to the research, weighs on the flu virus making movement difficult.

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“In higher humidity, the virus tends to drop out of the air quicker,” says 11Alive Medical Correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy. “The more moisture may be better for your body’s ability to fight off viruses as well.”

Scientists with the Department of Homeland Security recently noted preliminary research indicating humidity may have similar effects on the coronavirus. The National Institute of Health is currently studying the environment’s impact on COVID-19.

Medical experts seem to agree that keeping the humidity in your home right around 50-percent could be good for your health. Allowing the humidity to get too high can lead to harmful bacteria and mold.

“Simple humidifiers cost next to nothing,” says Gusky.

There are humidifiers that keep the air in your home from getting too dry and devices that can help you monitor your home’s humidity.

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