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A virus-carrying sneeze 'cloud' can travel up to 8 meters (24 feet), according to new MIT research. (iStock image: Copyright AndSim )
A virus-carrying sneeze 'cloud' can travel up to 8 meters (24 feet), according to new MIT research. (iStock image: Copyright AndSim )

Press release -

High Velocity Cold And Flu Bugs In The Cloud Are Nothing To Sneeze At, Warns Blueair

Stockholm, Sweden, December 29, 2016 – A violent sneeze can spray clouds of fluids containing hundreds of viruses from a person’s nose and mouth that will travel up to eight meters (26.2 feet), according to scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But there is a way to help sidestep infection from coughs and sneezes and that is to use an indoor air purifier with Hepa filters designed to remove tiny airborne microbes, says air purification leader Blueair.

“Viruses can stay suspended in the air for hours so with the cold and flu season in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere people need to use all the aids available to help battle becoming infected, from boosting immune functions to cleaning the air of germs by using an air purifier,” said Blueair founder Bengt Rittri.

A novel study by MIT researchers shows that coughs and sneezes have associated gas clouds that keep their potentially infectious droplets aloft over much greater distances than previously realized. The study finds that droplets 100 micrometers — or millionths of a meter — in diameter travel five times farther than previously estimated, while droplets 10 micrometers in diameter travel 200 times farther.

Using high-speed imaging of coughs and sneezes, as well as laboratory simulations and mathematical modeling, the researchers produced a new analysis of coughs and sneezes from a fluid-mechanics perspective. The MIT findings led the researchers to suggest that architects and engineers may want to re-examine the design of workplaces and hospitals, or air circulation on airplanes, to reduce the chances of airborne pathogens being transmitted among people.

Millions of work and school days are lost every year because of colds and flu. In the United States, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the annual direct costs (hospitalization, doctors' office visits, medications, etc.) of influenza at US$4.6 billion and causes the loss of almost 111 million workdays.

In Europe, one approximate estimate has put the health cost of influenza across the EU at between €6 billion to €14 billion annually depending on the severity of the season. WHO says annual flu epidemics are thought to result in about three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths every year around the world.

“More often than not, humans are the main source of infectious diseases in the home and workplace so using an air purifier to remove airborne viruses makes sense for people at home seeking to avoid infection or managers striving to ensure their staff have a germ-free work environment,” said Bengt Rittri.

Some quick tips that could help you avoid colds and flu,

- Wash your hand frequently

- Disinfect keyboards, phones and surfaces regularly

- Get sufficient sleep as it can boost the immune system

- Avoid stress, it can lower immunity defences

- Keep rooms at home and work well ventilated

- Consider using an indoor air purifier with a Hepa filter. One like those from Blueair are designed to remove the smallest microbes in the air, reducing the level of airborne germs as well as dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and smoke particles.

For more information, please contact David Noble, Blueair PR and communications, at +44 7785 302 694 or email



Sold in over 60 countries around the world, Blueair delivers home and office users more clean indoor air for enhanced user health and wellbeing faster than any competing air purifier thanks to its commitment to quality, energy efficiency and environmental care. A Blueair air purifier works efficiently, silently to remove 99.97% of allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other airborne pollutants.

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Press contact Chief Purpose Officer Communications & Sustainable Business +46(0)761107057