Can Air Purifiers Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says coronavirus's spread can be limited by air purifiers.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidance recently, suggesting air purifiers as a useful measure in combatting the virus in homes.

According to CNN, the update took place on Friday, Sept. 18, and was part of a larger update to the CDC's guidance on the virus, which acknowledged that it spreads through the air. The acknowledgement of the virus's airborne spread has since been removed from the page — an editor's note at the top of the page confirms it was posted in error, and that the CDC is "currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

So do you need an air purifier?

The CDC maintains that "when used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space." The CDC also warns that air purifiers and other ventilation-improving products "are not enough to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19," and suggests following other official prevention guidelines.

This guidance comes as stocks of air purifiers and other indoor air quality equipment were already running low, due to devastating wildfires in the western U.S. and increased air quality awareness stemming from COVID-19.

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