Air conditioners may be spreading COVID-19, experts say

KNWA

Dr. Stephen Hennigan said in his opinion, focusing on this rare means of transmission is a distraction from what we know works.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — In a recent article by The Harvard Gazette, a Harvard infectious disease expert suggests air conditioning use across the southern U.S. may be a factor in the spiking COVID-19 cases we’re seeing.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Infectious Disease Professor Edward Nardell said in the article, as people go indoors in hot weather, they are breathing and rebreathing air that’s typically not refreshed, so it’s possible COVID-19 particles can hang in the air.

Local Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Hennigan said although this isn’t entirely impossible, it’s misguided energy.

He said in his opinion, focusing on this rare means of transmission is a distraction from what we know works.

If people go out there wearing a mask, not only will it help prevent getting this infection, it’ll also help not spread the numbers.

DR. STEPHEN HENNIGAN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST

Dr. Hennigan said all the available data suggests that most COVID-19 spread is through droplets let out during coughing, sneezing, and talking — so it’s best that we focus on mask-wearing and social distancing.

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