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How Long Can A Virus Last and Survive in the Air?

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How long do viruses last in the air? It depends on a few factors, including:

  • The specific type of virus.
  • Humidity levels.
  • The amount of ventilation in the area.

How Are Viruses Usually Transmitted?

Viruses can live for much longer on surfaces. Though as a general rule of thumb, the longer a virus spends on a surface, the less of an infection risk it carries.

Some transmissible diseases spread through human contact, usually through coughing and sneezing. When you cough or sneeze, you release droplets into the air, which can contain virus particles. These heavy droplets usually sink quickly to the ground.

If you don’t catch your cough and sneeze with your hand or with a tissue, then the droplets will probably settle on the ground within six feet of you. How long the viruses survive then will largely depend on the type of surface it lands on – viruses tend to last for longer on hard surfaces, for example.

How Do Viruses Transmit through the Air?

But coughing and sneezing can also release viruses in aerosols. These are smaller and lighter than droplets, which means that, instead of falling straight to the ground, they can float in the air longer. This is why airborne viruses can be a lot more infectious than viruses that spread through other means. One study, for example, found that at least 50% of flu transmissions happen as a result of airborne particles.

How Long Can A Virus Survive in the Air?

Flu and cold viruses can survive in the air for several hours, and some studies show that they can survive for longer at lower temperatures.

How Long Can Covid-19 Survive in Air?

Several studies looked at how long the Covid-19 virus can survive in the air – as opposed to on surfaces. One study found that Covid-19 can become up to 90% less infectious within minutes of getting exposed to indoor air.

This is largely due to the relative humidity (RH) of indoor spaces compared to the inside of the body, where viruses can thrive.

How To Stop Viruses From Spreading and Lingering in Your Home

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a cold or a flu, then it’s a good idea to stay at home, to stop the virus from spreading in your school, workplace, or other settings.

But how can you stop viruses from spreading in the home?

Keep It Clean

First, commit to regular cleaning. Viruses can survive for long periods on certain surfaces, so staying on top of the cleaning in your home can reduce the chances of transmitting the virus through touching infected surfaces.

Viruses can also survive in dust, along with numerous other harmful organisms. So make sure your cleaning includes regular dusting.

Keep It Ventilated

Good ventilation is another major weapon in your war against viral infection in the home. A good air purifier can trap and kill many viruses in the air before they have a chance to settle on any surfaces.

Our Blueair home air purifiers are fitted with advanced HEPA filters that can effectively remove over 99% of particles from the air. And when viruses are trapped in a HEPA filter, with no host to sustain them, they won’t survive for long. So at the touch of a button, they can quickly and quietly filter the air in a room of up to 17m² in as little as 12.5 minutes, making infections in your home a lot less likely.

Find out how the Blueair home air purifiers can be your secret weapon against airborne viruses in the home.

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