Ventilation a failing and an opportunity

Burnet Institute

25 August, 2021

Effective ventilation may be Australia’s biggest failing of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC argues – but it also presents the greatest opportunity to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Professor Crabb told Channel 10’s The Project that effective ventilation to prevent airborne transmission of COVID-19 has been undersold as a frontline public health tool to limit outbreaks of the virus.

“Failing to recognise the airborne transmission of the virus is, in my view, Australia’s biggest failure during the COVID outbreak,” Professor Crabb said.

“As brilliant as vaccines are – and they really are brilliant, they might save your life – they are not enough.

“The biggest missing link there is mitigating airborne transmission, and the biggest opportunity is to ventilate things properly.”

Buildings such as schools, businesses, restaurants, homes as well as hotels adapted for quarantine are not adequately ventilated or equipped with ventilation systems capable of preventing airborne disease.

The Project item canvassed a range of mitigation measures, including opening windows, CO2 monitors and air purifiers, as well as the need to future pandemic-proof our cities.

“Ventilation really is the air equivalent of clean water and washing your hands,” Professor Crabb said.

“We’re about 100 years too late, but COVID is giving us the opportunity to fix that wrong.”

“We need to be as desperate and urgent for a solution as we were with a vaccine, that’s the way to mitigate COVID spread and to help our future in other ways.”

Click here to watch Channel 10’s The Project.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




Subscribe to News

Subscribe to receive our latest news: