(Press-News.org) Peer reviewed - systematic review - humans
Air filtration systems do not reduce the risk of picking up viral infections, according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
A new study published today reveals that technologies designed to make social interactions safer in indoor spaces are not effective in the real world.
The team studied technologies including air filtration, germicidal lights and ionisers.
They looked at all the available evidence but found little to support hopes that these technologies can make air safe from respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.
Prof Paul Hunter, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Air cleaners are designed to filter pollutants or contaminants out of the air that passes through them.
“When the Covid pandemic hit, many large companies and governments - including the NHS, the British military, and New York City and regional German governments - investigated installing this type of technology in a bid to reduce airborne virus particles in buildings and small spaces.
“But air treatment technologies can be expensive. So it’s reasonable to weigh up the benefits against costs, and to understand the current capabilities of such technologies.”
The research team studied evidence about whether air cleaning technologies make people safe from catching airborne respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.
They analysed evidence about microbial infections or symptoms in people exposed or not to air treatment technologies in 32 studies, all conducted in real world settings like schools or care homes. So far none of the studies of air treatment started during the Covid era have been published.
Lead researcher Dr Julii Brainard, also from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “The kinds of technologies that we considered included filtration, germicidal lights, ionisers and any other way of safely removing viruses or deactivating them in breathable air.
“In short, we found no strong evidence that air treatment technologies are likely to protect people in real world settings.
“There is a lot of existing evidence that environmental and surface contamination can be reduced by several air treatment strategies, especially germicidal lights and high efficiency particulate air filtration (HEPA). But the combined evidence was that these technologies don’t stop or reduce illness.
“There was some weak evidence that the air treatment methods reduced likelihood of infection, but this evidence seems biased and imbalanced.
“We strongly suspect that there were some relevant studies with very minor or no effect but these were never published.
“Our findings are disappointing - but it is vital that public health decision makers have a full picture.
“Hopefully those studies that have been done during Covid will be published soon and we can make a more informed judgement about what the value of air treatment may have been during the pandemic.”
This research was led by the University of East Anglia with collaborators at University College London, the University of Essex, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust, and the University of Surrey.
It was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Health Protection Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response, led by Kings College London and UEA in collaboration with the UK Health Security Agency.
‘Effectiveness of filtering or decontaminating air to reduce or prevent respiratory infections: A systematic review’ is published in Preventive Medicine.
Air cleaners don’t stop you getting sick, research shows
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
From tobacco to alcohol to opioids, Sanford Burnham Prebys researchers are pursuing novel leads and promising therapies to treat addiction
Addiction is perhaps the most and least visible of public health crises in the United States. Tens of millions of Americans are addicted to illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other substances including opioids, with both immediate and long-term harm to not just themselves, but also family, friends and society. At the same time, many of those affected deny or hide their addictions. Most do not seek help. A 2021 national survey on drug use and health by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), ...
NCDMPH Director Jeffrey D. Freeman, PhD, MPH to be a keynote speaker at SDMPH Annual Meeting
Disasters are growing more frequent, severe, and unpredictable, yet our nation lacks a sustainable model for preparedness. Dr. Freeman's presentation will address the advancement of science, practice, and education in the pursuit of a coordinated and scalable approach to preparedness. To be presented on Day 3 during the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health Inc. Annual Meeting which will be held between December 4-6, in Washington, DC. END ...
National analysis shows that 1 in 3000 patients experience cardiac arrest requiring resuscitation during anaesthesia
A new study ‒ that has examined all cardiac arrests occurring during or soon after surgery in more than 300 UK hospitals over a one-year period ‒ has identified that this extremely dangerous and often fatal event occurs in 3 per 10,000 surgeries requiring anaesthesia. The study - the 7th National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (NAP7) published in Anaesthesia (the journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) – included data from all NHS hospitals and some in the independent sector and received ...
Cutting-edge research aims to curb fatalities caused by illicit drugs
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Centre for Forensic Science PhD candidate Harry Fursman is working on two fronts to prevent harm to people who use drugs: He is testing a new handheld device for rapidly and accurately identifying drug specimens and conducting ongoing chemical analysis of used syringes. Drugs that are contaminated or substituted with an unexpected substance are a leading cause of death among people who use drugs. In Sydney last week one person died and two people were taken to hospital due to heroin overdoses, after using what ...
Paper offers perspective on future of brain-inspired AI as Python code library passes major milestone
Four years ago, UC Santa Cruz’s Jason Eshraghian developed a Python library that combines neuroscience with artificial intelligence to create spiking neural networks, a machine learning method that takes inspiration from the brain’s ability to efficiently process data. Now, his open source code library, called “snnTorch,” has surpassed 100,000 downloads and is used in a wide variety of projects, from NASA satellite tracking efforts to semiconductor companies optimizing chips for AI. A new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the IEEE documents the coding ...
Winners of Applied Microbiology International Horizon Awards are announced
The winners of the Applied Microbiology International Horizon Awards were announced at the prestigious Environmental Microbiology lecture 2023, held at BMA House in London on November 16. The prizes, awarded by Applied Microbiology International, celebrate the brightest minds in the field and promote the research, group, projects, products and individuals who continue to help shape the future of applied microbiology. Dr Christopher Stewart of Newcastle University in the UK was named as this year’s winner of the WH Pierce Prize, which is presented to a scientist who has used microbiology to make a significant contribution to One Health advancements. The primary ...
Highlights from the journal CHEST®, November 2023
Glenview, Illinois – Published monthly, the journal CHEST® features peer-reviewed, cutting-edge original research in chest medicine: Pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine and related disciplines. Journal topics include asthma, chest infections, COPD, critical care, diffuse lung disease, education and clinical practice, pulmonary vascular disease, sleep, thoracic oncology and the humanities. The November issue of the CHEST journal contains 48 articles, including clinically relevant research, reviews, case series, commentary and more. Each month, the journal also offers complementary resources, including visual ...
Three-pronged approach discerns qualities of quantum spin liquids
In 1973, physicist Phil Anderson hypothesized that the quantum spin liquid, or QSL, state existed on some triangular lattices, but he lacked the tools to delve deeper. Fifty years later, a team led by researchers associated with the Quantum Science Center headquartered at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed the presence of QSL behavior in a new material with this structure, KYbSe2. QSLs — an unusual state of matter controlled by interactions among entangled, or intrinsically linked, magnetic atoms called spins — excel at stabilizing quantum mechanical activity in KYbSe2 and other delafossites. These materials are prized for ...
Cancer therapy shows promise against tuberculosis
A promising new cancer therapy also appears extremely potent against one of the world’s most devastating infectious diseases: tuberculosis (TB). Scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) found the therapy dramatically reduces TB growth, even for bacteria that are drug-resistant. The findings, reported in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, were made in novel cellular models featuring TB-infected human cells that can help accelerate screening of potential TB drugs and therapies like this one. The therapy evaluated in this study combines two ...
Theoretical computer scientists awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize
Computer Science Professors Christos Papadimitriou and Mihalis Yannakakis received the John von Neumann Theory Prize for their research in computational complexity theory that explores the boundaries of efficiently solving decision and optimization problems crucial to operations research and management sciences. The recipients were presented with the prize at the 2023 INFORMS Annual Meeting in October in Phoenix, AZ. The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) first awarded the prize in 1975 to honor a body of work that has proven its lasting value in operations research and management sciences. ...