With the weather beginning to cool down in many parts of the United States, influenza and other respiratory infections will soon begin to circulate. In some places, including Texas, Delaware, Georgia, and New Mexico, rates of flu infection are already beginning to climb. In this article, air quality experts from Camfil explain how air filters and air purifiers can help prevent the spread of the flu this fall and winter.
Why Do We Get Sick More in the Winter?
Health experts speculate that many factors contribute to increased respiratory and other infections in the fall and winter, including:
- There are a range of pathogens that reproduce more effectively in cooler temperatures.
- Our immune systems are often less effective during the winter. When our body is preoccupied with more essential functions, such as maintaining an adequate internal temperature, less urgent bodily functions such as the immune system take the backseat, leaving us more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria when we come into contact with them.
- When the weather is colder, people are more likely to congregate in both large and small groups indoors for extended periods of time.
People are likely to spend more time in confined indoor spaces when the weather is colder, which increases the likelihood of encountering pathogens in the air.
Related Article: Why Do We Get Sick More In Cooler Months
How Is the Flu Transmitted?
According to the CDC, influenza spreads via airborne transmission routes, as explained below:
“People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.”
— Source: CDC Website
When Is Flu Season 2022?
The exact timing of the circulation of flu viruses is difficult to predict and may vary regionally, but flu activity usually begins to increase in October, and cases peak between December and February.
Just as doctors recommend flu vaccinations be given in September and October for those who choose to take them, it is best to take precautionary measures against the spread of the flu ahead of time.
How Do Air Purifiers Help Prevent Flu?
Air purifiers can help prevent the spread of the flu in two main ways:
- By increasing ventilation. Poor ventilation allows infected particles and other contaminants to build up in indoor air, leading to an increased likelihood of inhabitants inhaling an infected respiratory droplet or nuclei and contracting an infection themselves.
- By removing contaminants from the air. Simply recirculating indoor air through a building’s HVAC system to increase ventilation may not adequately protect its inhabitants from pathogens because the system’s air filters are not likely to have a high enough capture efficiency, ie. MERV value.. The air must be filtered to remove infected respiratory droplets. An H14 HEPA filter, if tested and certified as such, is rated to remove 99.995% of the smallest particles in the air, including viruses.
A medical-grade air purifier such as the City M Air Purifier by Camfil uses Absolute HEPA technology to remove pathogens from the air, in addition to other harmful particles such as dust, contaminants, and allergens. The Absolute HEPAs in the City M are tested and certified to be H14 filters. The City M is also equipped with a molecular filter to remove harmful gases, such as volatile organic compounds, from the air. Delivering 256 cubic feet of clean air per minute, the City M is a standalone unit that acts independently of the building’s HVAC system and offers excellent ventilation in addition to HEPA filtration.
Find out the best air filtration solutions for your building this flu season by consulting your local Camfil representative.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 31 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,200 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/
Camfil USA Air Filters
F: Friend Camfil USA on Facebook
T: Follow Camfil USA on Twitter
Y: Watch Camfil Videos on YouTube
L: Follow our LinkedIn Page