It’s difficult to keep up with all the airborne germs and viruses that are harmful, because it seems as if new ones crop up everyday. But knowing the most common germs and how they can affect your health is the first step in understanding how to best combat the threat these germs pose.
“Most people have a basic understanding that there are airborne germs that can cause illnesses, but they probably aren’t aware of the exact nature of these germs,” stated Camfil’s Charlie Seyffer, Manager of Marketing & Technical Materials and 37-year ASHRAE member and active committee participant,. “But it’s important for people to understand that even airborne germs that don’t cause illnesses can still have a harmful, long-term effect on respiratory health. So we believe that education in this area is the first step in helping people understand the importance of air filtration in commercial facilities and in residences.”
Many germs that people breathe do not cause illnesses, because the human body has built immunities to these germs.
But per a list provided by the ATZ labs website, there are hundreds of airborne pathogens grouped as bacteria or viruses that can cause diseases such as rubella, measles, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and the flu.
Some of these are serious diseases, and many of them are contagious, so understanding what they are is vital for maintaining good health.
It’s impossible to eliminate germs entirely from a home or commercial facility, but there are definitely some germs that can and should be filtered out to prevent illness.
Some of the most common types to be aware of are MRSA, flu virus, RSV, measles and chickenpox.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these germs so that you can understand what they are and how they can compromise good health:
MRSA Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is highly resistant to antibiotics, making it a challenge to treat. It is well established that MRSA is spread through touch, but studies have now shown that airborne MRSA is as serious a threat as MRSA that is carried on the skin.
An article on the Staph Infection Resources website cited several studies in which MRSA was spread through the air in hospitals. In one study, MRSA bacteria was released from a mannequin and was found to have spread 11 feet away in an enclosed chamber.
Flu Virus The flu virus is probably the most well-known virus in the world, affecting millions of people every year, and causing havoc on workplace efficiency. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the flu virus is spread as far as six feet away when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. That’s because droplets of the virus become airborne and can be inhaled or swallowed by people who don’t have the virus. And while the seasonal flu is very treatable, other strains such as the Avian flu and Swine flu can become serious, life-threatening illnesses.
RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus(RSV) is a virus that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Per the Modern Medicine Network, RSV “enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.” RSV is especially dangerous for infants, because they have not developed the immunity to combat this respiratory illness. In fact, more than four million children under the age of four get RSV each year, 125,000 of them require hospitalization to treat the illness, and one to two percent of these patients die.
Measles Measles is a viral infection that causes respiratory problems, with symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough and a rash that can last as long as a week. It is highly contagious and becomes airborne when a person with the illness coughs or sneezes, which sends droplets of the virus into the air. According to Medical News Today, there are 21 strains of the measles virus, and it can take nine to 11 days for the virus to appear after infection.
Chickenpox The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is highly contagious and is spread when an infected person breathes, talks, sneezes or coughs, which makes the virus airborne. The illness is notable for causing blisters on a person’s skin that are often painful and itchy.
Clean Air Solutions
Camfil air filtration systems can help prevent many of the most common types of airborne viruses from creating a health problem in a residence or commercial facility. At Camfil, we have spent more than 50 years creating commercial air filtration devices that can help remove as much as 99.97% of harmful microbes and airborne germs from the air.
Visit our website to learn more about our products and to obtain resources to help you understand more about the importance of air filtration for a healthy lifestyle.