What is Airborne Sickness?
Airborne sickness, also known as airborne illness or airborne disease, is caused by small pathogenic microbes that are discharged from a person who is infected through sneezing, coughing, laughing, aerosolization, or close personal contact of the microbe. These discharged microbes stay suspended in the air, on water, and on dust particles. When a person inhales the microbe, touch secretions that remain on a surface, or come in contact with mucous membranes, illness can result.
It is important to take precautions to avoid spreading and/or becoming infected by airborne sickness. Some airborne diseases that require precautions include: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Measles, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Varicella (chickenpox). Airborne precautions should be taken by patients who are suspected or known to be infected with airborne droplet nuclei transmitted microorganisms.
Both indoor and outdoor air pollution plays a substantial role in the worsening of airway illness in asthmatics and can increase asthma melancholy in patients. It is estimated that there are over 200 million people worldwide suffering from asthma and this number is steadily increasing. There are been more than 250,000 deaths annually from this condition worldwide.
Airborne sickness can be widely spread by air currents and could be inhaled either in the same room or from a longer distance by a susceptible host from the source patient. This does depend on temperature, ventilation, and environmental factors. In order to prevent airborne disease transmission, it will require special air handling, ventilation and personal respiratory protection.
Ways That Homeowners or Company Owners Can Help Minimize Airborne Sickness
Respiratory & Social Etiquette
You can greatly reduce the transmission of airborne sickness by practicing both respiratory and social etiquette. This means, staying at home if you are sick, staying a few feet away from other people when you are sick, keeping your distance from others who are sick as much as possible, covering your sneezes and coughs with a tissue or your elbow, and washing your hands thoroughly. Wearing a mask can also help. All of these preventative techniques can help decrease the spreading of these germ-containing droplets which other hands can pick up through hand contact with secretions or on surfaces.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has educated consumers about the importance of getting vaccinated and following meticulous sanitation and hygiene protocols for the prevention of airborne illness.
Whole House Fans
Air filtration is often advised to patients suffering with allergic respiratory disease as an environmental control measure. Whole house fans can provide residential air filtration and ventilation. Recent studies have shown that high efficiency whole house fan systems are beneficial to filtering the air and having the ability to ward off airborne toxins.
Sometimes the very air you breathe becomes a transmission mechanism that gets you sick. It’s best to practice preventative methods to minimize your risk of developing an airborne illness, and the above tips can help. Be sure to always speak to your doctor about your concerns over asthma, airborne sickness, or other respiratory conditions.