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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can using a fan increase the chance of Covid-19 spreading?

29 December 2021 - 07:00
The World Health Organisation advises opening windows when you put on a fan to replace indoor air with outdoor air.
The World Health Organisation advises opening windows when you put on a fan to replace indoor air with outdoor air.
Image: GALLO IMAGES / MEDIA 24 PTY LTD (MAGAZINES)

As summer continues to grip Mzansi, health experts have highlighted the risk of Covid-19 spreading when using a fan in enclosed spaces.

The World Health Organisation advises opening a window when you put on a fan.

“Using a fan in an enclosed space can increase the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. This is why it is important to open windows and doors whenever using a fan to replace indoor air without outdoor air.” 

The organisation said if you want to use a pedestal fan, minimise as much as possible how much air blows from one person to another.

“You can place a fan in front of an open window to increase air flow and push indoor air outside.”

Ceiling fans avoid pockets of stagnant air forming indoors and improve air flow but they should also be used together with open windows and doors.

In a directive to schools across SA, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said it is important to have doors and windows open during the school day to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spreading in classrooms.

“A small concentration of virus particles in poorly ventilated spaces, combined with humidity and high temperature, can result in an infectious dose over time. It is important to have natural ventilation in school buildings by ensuring all windows and doors are left open during the school day.

“Where available, fans can be used in addition to open windows for more air circulation.”


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