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Supercomputer shows humidity effect on COVID-19 [Video]

Researchers have used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the emission and flow of virus-like particles from infected people in a variety of indoor environments.

Air humidity of lower than 30% resulted in more than double the amount of aerosolised particles compared to levels of 60% or higher,

as seen in simulations released on Tuesday (October 13) by research giant Riken and Kobe University.

Their findings suggest that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible.

The study also indicated that clear face shields are not as effective as tighter-fitting face masks in preventing the spread of aerosols.

Other findings showed the number of singers in choirs for example should be limited and spaced out.

There has been a growing consensus among health experts that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance this month to say the pathogen can linger in the air for hours.

Video Transcript

Researchers have used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the emission and flow of virus-like particles from infected people in a variety of indoor environments. Air humidity of lower than 30% resulted in more than double the amount of aerosolized particles compared to levels of 60% or higher. As seen in simulations released on Tuesday by research giant [INAUDIBLE] and Colby University.

Their findings suggest that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible. The study also indicated that clear face shields are not as effective as tighter fitting face masks in preventing the spread of aerosols.

Other findings showed the number of singers in choirs, for example, should be limited and spaced out. There has been a growing consensus among health experts that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance this month to say the pathogen can linger in the air for hours.

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Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months.

The finding suggests that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible, according to a study released on Tuesday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.

The researchers used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the emission and flow of virus-like particles from infected people in a variety of indoor environments.

Air humidity of lower than 30% resulted in more than double the amount of aerosolised particles compared to levels of 60% or higher, the simulations showed.

The study also indicated that clear face shields are not as effective as masks in preventing the spread of aerosols. Other findings showed that diners are more at risk from people to their side compared to across the table, and the number of singers in choruses should be limited and spaced out.

The research team led by Makoto Tsubokura has previously used the Fugaku supercomputer to model contagion conditions in trains, work spaces, and class rooms.

Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Michael Perry

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