We all know about the “Anti-Covid Trinity” by now – masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizers. However, at the recent APAP|NYC+ 2021 Conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested that there’s another device that can save countless lives – HEPA air filters.
The nation’s top immunologist went on to explain that while the first member of each household to contract Covid-19 usually does so at the bar or the supermarket, everyone else in the family contracts the disease at home from this “initial spreader.” And official research does confirm that as much as 70% of cases happen due to the so-called “living room spread.”
This is where HEPA filters come in
In his interview with the program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Maurine Knighton, Dr. Fauci explained that HEPA filters are actually very good at capturing and filtering the Covid-19 particles out of the air.
HEPA filters are designed to capture 99.97% of all particles that are larger than 0.01 microns or 10 nanometers. Covid-19 particles fall very much within this range as they are ~0.125 microns or 125 nanometers in size.
Any standard-issue HEPA filter does the job. This makes them a great way to deal with the spread of the virus at home.
“Good air flow and HEPA filters can work,” Dr. Fauci said in his interview. He went on to point out that this can be a good solution not just for halting the “living room spread” of the virus but for theaters and art venues as well.
He drew a parallel with the airline industry which uses HEPA filters and explained that similar enhanced ventilation systems can help open other venues and businesses as well.
The immunologist shared that he had gotten “a couple” of filters for his own home and urged other people to do the same, especially if some of their family members work with other people during the pandemic. “It was $49 on Amazon.com, you know? It was not a big deal,” Fauci said jokingly.
Why hasn’t this been widely discussed before?
Most scientists have been focusing on the more immediate emergencies around the virus such as its spread and patient care.
Nevertheless, this is still good news as they provide a reliable way for dealing with the virus indoors, especially in combination with masks and social distancing protocols.