It's been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic lifted, but no one knows when it will end. Health experts have been employing various measures to curb the seemingly growing pandemic, hopefully. Following safety measures in establishments has been the protocol. Recently, a newly published study suggests that driving with open windows may avoid the transmission of the virus.
As Japan Times notes, going to the party, cinema, or mall is avoidable, but it's pretty difficult to ditch getting a ride. This new study conducted at Brown University shows that it's best to observe more preventative measures by opening car windows. The study published in the Journal of Science Advances is entitled "Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission." Not only it is effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus, but it is also a good practice to avoid the spread of most airborne diseases.
Study on Car Windows and Aerosol Transmission
According to the study, researchers utilized a Toyota Prius. Simulations were created with a driver and a passenger who sat diagonally. This position had the maximum distance possible between the two and a common arrangement when one rides an Uber or a taxi. They used computer models to analyze the air particles inside the car if the windows were opened. During the computer simulation, an airflow with Covid-19 parctiles was allowed to circulate in the air. They studied the aerosol distribution or the suspension of solid or liquid particles from the virus that stay in the air.
Closing Car Windows "Worst-Case-Scenario" for Covid Transmission
Upon monitoring the air concentration inside a car going around 80Km/hour, they found out that opening the windows can be a way to mitigate the risk of transmission of coronavirus emitted from a person's breath/cough/sneeze.
According to News18, the COVID-19 is similar in nature to another airborne disease in terms of transmission. The virus' aerosol can remain active in the air. This means that transmission can be done through the air, and the virus can enter your body through air passages. Therefore, the study concludes that confined spaces like cars will have a higher chance of transmission due to the build-up of airborne particles. This recycled air will keep the airborne virus particles potently circulating in the confined area.
The study recommends practicing the "new normal" by ditching the air conditioner and keeping all four windows open to allow air circulation and prevent possible transmission. They described having closed windows as a "worst case scenario" where transmission of the virus is highly likely. Having all windows open would allow the ACH (air changes per hour) to increase its rate. If air is expelled regularly, aerosol potency can be decreased significantly.
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Written by Nikki D