- By keeping our mucous membranes moist, we maintain a natural barrier to infection that’s like a “bulletproof vest” protecting our lungs, nose and mouth from infection. Dry air, especially while sleeping, makes us vulnerable to infection. Viruses are 10-100X more viable in dry air.
- High humidity causes “friction” in the air that limits the distances that viruses can spread through the air. It markedly decreases the risk of person-to-person spread of infection.
- Moisture keeps virus particles on surfaces from drying out, going airborne and getting into our lungs.
SPREAD: DRY Air allows the virus droplets to stay in the air and to float around like feathers. Moist (humid) air forces the droplets to the ground minimizing spread.
SUSCEPTIBILITY: DRY air dehydrates our mucous layers protecting our nose, throat and lungs. Moist (humid) air keeps our protective linings hydrated and healthy and acts as a bulletproof barrier against the virus droplets
Scientific America: Humidity Helps Fight Flu
American Society for Microbiology: Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces
Medical News Today: How Humidity May Affect COVID-19 Outcome
Yale University School of Medicine: Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection
Yale News: Flu virus’ best friend: low humidity
Fighting Viruses with Glycans: Our mucosa (a membrane that lines inside of our mouth, nose, all airways, eyes, etc) is protecting our cells with a thick layer of glycans, but it has to be moist to be a functional barrier.