Aerosols are tiny, suspended particles that may contain pathogenic viruses. They are released into the air via the respiratory tract when speaking, sneezing, or coughing and can be transmitted to other people. But indoor humidity significantly influences the viruses’ ability to survive – and therefore the risk of infection.
Water evaporates faster in a dry indoor climate, that is one with a relative humidity of less than 40 percent, which creates crystallized aerosols. This preserves the viruses, keeping them suspended and infectious for longer. Airborne viral transmission also rises rapidly, placing an immense burden or our immune system.
Excessively high air humidity is not ideal, either. The salt concentration in the aerosols is very low if the relative humidity is above 60 percent, which ensures that the viruses can survive for longer.
Ideal air humidity therefore means that you can significantly reduce the risk of contracting influenza viruses. A relative humidity level between 40 and 60 percent is recommended. Your immune system works best within this range and protects you from the risks of airborne viruses.