Healthcare: An air filter that kills the coronavirus

When one focuses on how to deal with a health care crisis such as the covid-19 pandemic, the natural tendency is to dwell on things like treatments and vaccines. However, some researchers at the University of Houston have hit upon a technological mitigation for the Covid-19 virus and, indeed, just about any virus, in the form of a special heated air filter.

Healthcare: An air filter that kills the coronavirus

The Covid-19 virus spreads by lingering in the air after being expelled by a sneeze, cough, or someone just speaking or breathing, for upwards of three hours. Some experts have suggested that the virus can be spread through a building in its air conditioning and heating system. The U of H researchers have noted that fact and are using it to kill the virus.

The air filter works by passing air through a nickel foam that is heated to almost 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Tests have shown that over 98 percent of the Covid-19 viruses are killed instantly when caught inside the air filter.

The air filter can be installed in airports, schools, office buildings and, of course, hospitals. Buses, planes, trains, and even cruise ships could also be so equipped. A portable version could be used for offices and even the home. Circulating the air through the filter can make places where large numbers of people congregate safer, making it less likely that humans will catch Covid-19. Installation of the filter widely would likely cut down on infections, hospitalizations, and, most important, lasting injury and death.

The air filter will not be a total substitute for a vaccine or mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene. However, the technology would likely become a powerful weapon for controlling and reducing the pandemic, alleviating the pressure on hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and saving many lives.

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