A whole-house air filtration system has a big price tag--$900 to $1,200 for installation into existing ductwork. Or you can place a portable HEPA air filter in your bedroom, where you spend most of your time at home. Myatt's study found that a portable unit like the $115 Hunter QuietFlo HEPA 30090 still does the job in a single-room scenario.
Instead of antiviral meds, try jacking up the humidity
Wage your flu battle at the hardware store, not the pharmacy. Your weapon of choice: a humidifier. "The airborne influenza virus survives longer in drier air," Myatt says. His newest study in Environmental Health found that a humidifier in a bedroom produced significant reductions in flu-virus survival. Given the disputed effectiveness of the popular antiviral drug Tamiflu-- a 2009 study was underwhelmed by it--this ounce of prevention has obvious appeal.
If the flu is going around, place a portable humidifier in your bedroom and set it for 50 percent humidity, Myatt says. Better-quality models come with microbe-fighting UV lights or silver in their filters. We like the Air-O-Swiss 7135 humidifier, at $170. Bonus: It'll keep your skin from becoming itchy and scratchy as well.
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