In nurseries and schools, but especially in the former, various viruses often circulate in addition to bacteria. This is evident from a new study by Vito, published today in ‘De Standaard’. In the wake of the corona pandemic, the Flemish government ordered the study, which, among other things, focuses on the virus spread through the air.
“We found pathogenic viruses in more than half of the samples, led by the coronavirus,” says researcher Marianne Stranger. “The place with the most variation turned out to be childcare, with up to six different pathogens per sample. In schools we found up to four viruses or bacteria at the same time.”
Researchers from the Flemish research institute Vito used self-developed ‘virus traps’ to determine which virus particles were in the air. They installed these meters in daycare centers, schools and a residential care center.
Good ventilation is crucial
The study shows that the known measures work. In schools with a well-functioning ventilation system, the virus concentration decreased. If there was no ventilation system, opening windows was an alternative. “If there is mechanical ventilation, or if you ventilate by opening the windows, you will see the concentration of viruses decrease.”
Good air quality also provides other benefits. “We know that the concentration of pollutants from, for example, paint or household goods is also decreasing. And a lot of CO2 is not good in itself. The higher the meter, the faster your cognitive capabilities and attention drop. Good air is also a good thing for learning performance. It is therefore a shame that there are still schools where the windows cannot be opened or are even blocked,” said Stranger.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss anything from the stars.
Yes, I want free unlimited access