In January, the CDC reported that every state in the continental U.S. showed widespread flu activity.
While this flu season’s rates of illness and death are not unusual on a national scale, the high levels of illness concentrated in particular areas show just how bad it can get when a flu strain takes hold.
The viruses that cause the flu are microscopic and easily transferred through direct contact or through the air. That’s why being in close quarters with other people when you’re at work, shopping, or commuting can increase your likelihood of becoming sick. Those public environments are hard to predict and impossible to control.
But you can control the air in your home to make it uninhabitable for some of those viruses. It comes down to three factors: Humidity, Air Purity, and Ventilation
Dry indoor air is common during the winter season, and it can make you and your family more susceptible to getting sick. In fact, low relative humidity has been linked to speedier progression and transmission of viruses in the air. The ideal humidity level for health and comfort is between 40-50%. Whole-home humidifiers are the most efficient and effective way to accomplish that number, but single-room units can be useful in bedrooms or wherever your family spends most of its time.
When viruses and germs go airborne, they can spread rapidly from person to person. You can help offset this with high-efficiency air purifiers that can consistently remove particles of the smallest size (0.3 – 1.0 microns). The purifier removes those viruses from the air so you’re not at risk of breathing them in and becoming sick.
The third tip: fresh air. While today’s tightly sealed homes are great for conserving energy, they can also trap air that contains flu viruses. Whole-home ventilation systems pull fresh air into your home from the outside, while pushing stale, contaminated air out. And if you don’t have a ventilation system and live somewhere the windows aren’t frozen shut, it never hurts to crack a window to get some fresh air circulating in your home or apartment.