Missouri University of Science and Technology

Over the holidays, replacing the furnace filter could help protect people from COVID-19 indoors

Newswise — Amid the food, gifts and well wishes, the holidays could have a new star – a furnace filter. Until a vaccine is ready, a high-efficiency furnace filter used along with other precautions could help protect people from COVID-19 as they spend more time together indoors.

Dr. Yang Wang, assistant professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is leading a team of researchers to study the particles – called bioaerosols – released by people when they speak, sing or cough. They are observing how viruses travel through the air, how time and environmental conditions affect the viability of viruses, and how proper ventilation can help control viral spread.                                             

“What we’re seeing is that particles as large as 10 microns can remain airborne for several minutes after being generated by coughing or speaking,” Wang says. “If someone has a high virus load and speaks or coughs, that’s going to generate more airborne viruses.”

Dr. Guang Xu, associate professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T and co-investigator on the project, is an expert in ventilation. He is running simulations in the laboratory’s environmental chamber using bioaerosols that contain pathogens similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Another co-investigator, S&T biological sciences professor Dr. Yue Wern Huang, is providing biological analysis of the bioaerosols. The project is funded by a $330,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Wang points out that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends air filters with a rating of at least MERV 13 for homeowners who want to improve general indoor air quality. A higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) rating means the filter can trap smaller particles, including viruses. Wang says that as people gather over the holidays, a portable air filter could provide additional protection, and it can be a simple do-it-yourself device. Wang says a box fan with air filters taped to the front and back can provide additional air filtration.

“In businesses, homes and schools, ventilation systems need to work well and have high-efficiency filters to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Wang. “But filters alone are not enough. People also need to follow the simple guidelines of wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and washing their hands thoroughly and often.”

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, education, the sciences, business and information technology, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a high return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit mst.edu.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4573
Released: 15-Jan-2021 5:40 PM EST
Research Links Social Isolation to COVID-19 Protocol Resistance
Humboldt State University

As health officials continue to implore the public to wear masks and practice social distancing, recent research by Humboldt State University Psychology Professor Amber Gaffney provides key insights into connections between social isolation, conspiratorial thinking, and resistance to COVID-19 protocols.

Newswise: Rapid blood test identifies COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease
Released: 15-Jan-2021 5:35 PM EST
Rapid blood test identifies COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease
Washington University in St. Louis

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that a relatively simple and rapid blood test can predict which patients with COVID-19 are at highest risk of severe complications or death. The blood test measures levels of mitochondrial DNA, which normally resides inside the energy factories of cells. Mitochondrial DNA spilling out of cells and into the bloodstream is a sign that a particular type of violent cell death is taking place in the body.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 2:55 PM EST
COVID-19 deaths really are different. But best practices for ICU care should still apply, studies suggest.
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

COVID-19 deaths are indeed different from other lung failure deaths, according to two recent studies, with 56% of COVID-19 patients dying primarily from the lung damage caused by the virus, compared with 22% of those whose lungs fail due to other causes. But, the researchers conclude, the kind of care needed to help sustain people through the worst cases of all forms of lung failure is highly similar, and just needs to be fine-tuned.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 2:50 PM EST
45% of adults over 65 lack online medical accounts that could help them sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

As the vaccination of older adults against COVID-19 begins across the country, new poll data suggests that many of them don’t yet have access to the “patient portal” online systems that could make it much easier for them to schedule a vaccination appointment. In all, 45% of adults aged 65 to 80 had not set up an account with their health provider’s portal system.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 1:30 PM EST
New England Journal of Medicine publishes COVID-19 treatment trial results
University of Texas at San Antonio

A clinical trial involving COVID-19 patients hospitalized at UT Health San Antonio and University Health, among roughly 100 sites globally, found that a combination of the drugs baricitinib and remdesivir reduced time to recovery, according to results published Dec. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:40 PM EST
DNA test can quickly identify pneumonia in patients with severe COVID-19, aiding faster treatment
University of Cambridge

Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:30 PM EST
Fight CRC To Present Research Findings on The Impact of COVID-19 on the Colorectal Cancer Community at 2021 GI ASCO
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer presents abstract at Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium highlighting the need to address the barriers and opportunities for care within the colorectal cancer community during the COVID-19 pandemic

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:25 PM EST
Technion to Award Honorary Doctorate to Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla
American Technion Society

Israel's Technion will award an honorary doctorate to Pfizer CEO and Chairman Dr. Albert Bourla, for leading the development of the novel vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The honorary doctorate will be conferred at the Technion Board of Governors meeting in November 2021.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 11:30 AM EST
UW researchers develop tool to equitably distribute limited vaccines
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health have developed a tool that incorporates a person’s age and socioeconomic status to prioritize vaccine distribution among people who otherwise share similar risks due to their jobs.


Showing results

110 of 4573

close
1.17818