A study has shown that opening windows can be more effective than using mechanical ventilation at reducing the risk of transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis (TB).
Testing natural ventilation
The researchers, led by Dr Rod Escombe studied eight hospitals in Lima, Peru, and measured natural ventilation in 70 different rooms where infectious patients are likely to be found, including respiratory isolation rooms, TB wards, respiratory wards, general medical wards, outpatient consulting rooms, waiting rooms, and emergency departments. They compared these with 12 modern mechanically-ventilated, negative-pressure respiratory isolation rooms.
Open windows beat germs