The World Health Organization has requested people not to use the conventional air conditioners during this summer as it may cause coronavirus. However, to prevent coronavirus cases, it suggests turning on the AC with windows open, as this cooling system may spread the virus otherwise.
Normally, there are two types of cooling systems. One type of AC brings the outer air inside and then expels this air out again. The second type re-circulates this same air once it is indoor to maintain the temperature. This type of air conditioner is called “split AC” where the AC re-uses the same air again and again after cooling it through the coils.
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Dr. Shaun Fitzgerald from the Royal Academy of Engineering explains that this new recommendation by WHO says that using split ac is safe only when the window is open. Or one should completely avoid using an air conditioner this summer. This may sound huge but this little sacrifice can actually prevent coronavirus cases in any household.
After the recent discovery of coronavirus being an airborne disease, the World Health Organization has re-set its public guide. It now requests everyone not to use air conditioner this summer or use it with an open window.
Last Thursday, it admitted the ‘evidence’ that coronavirus is spreading through air which explains why it is spreading like anything. It also stated that this virus spreads more in closed, more crowded, or a place with a poor ventilation system which clearly defines a room with an air conditioning unit.
This new revealing was made after more than 200 researchers sent an open letter to the World Health Organization suggesting the evidence on coronavirus’s airborne transmission.
This letter is published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal and available online to read.
All the signatories of this open letter are asked to share recommendations on adding new guidelines on how to prevent coronavirus cases while reducing its airborne transmission.
Dr. Julian Tang who is a consultant virologist working at Leicester Royal Infirmary was also a signatory of this open letter. He says that sitting in a room with an air conditioner may be an ideal location for this virus to reside and spread.
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The warmer air goes back to the cooling coils unless the air conditioning unit is using an anti-microbial filter to control the spread. he also said that this virus may live in cooler environments and air-conditioned rooms seem like a perfect habitat for it.
Clearing the common assumptions, he adds that airplanes may not be involved in spreading the virus because they use the up to date filtration techniques that prevent the virus to enter to live. It is effective against all common viruses and bacteria and after this pandemic has emerged, this filter is found effective against smaller viral particles like that of coronavirus as well.
Recent studies reveal that airplanes are highly unlikely to spread the coronavirus. However, the restricted air conditioner may increase the risk of other health conditions such as heat stroke. In any case, it is too early to declare the use of the air conditioner risky or putting a ban on its use.