Failing to open curtains fully 'makes people more likely to get sick'

It found sunlight kills disease-causing bacteria that live in dust, while darker conditions let them thrive.

Researchers warned the problem also affects windowless offices.

Study leader Dr Ashkaan Fahimipour said: “Humans spend most of their time indoors, where exposure to dust particles that carry bacteria, including pathogens that can make us sick, is unavoidable.

“Therefore, it is important to understand how features of buildings we occupy influence dust ecosystems and how this could affect our health.”

His team at America’s University of Oregon created 11 identical miniature rooms and allowed in different levels of light. After 90 days, dark rooms had double the number of bacteria able to reproduce.

Dr Fahimipour added: “We hope that with further understanding we could design access to daylight in buildings such as schools, offices, hospitals and homes in ways that reduce the risk of dust-borne infections.”

The findings were published in the journal Microbiome.

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