Flu Prevention Tips – Airborne Bacteria
The 2018 – 2019 flu season is quickly gaining traction. According to webmd.com, over 7 million Americans have already been struck with a strain of this year’s flu virus, and between 69,000 and 84,000 have been hospitalized. Considering that flu activity normally peaks in February, it’s important to take action now.
Did you know a sneeze could travel up to 100 miles per hour? When someone sneezes or coughs, viruses are quickly thrust into the air. These microscopic particles can infect an entire room. As flu season intensifies, it is important to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in your home and office.
Airborne viruses commonly travel on dust particles and small respiratory droplets that become suspended in the air. Not only can someone inhale these particles, but the droplets can also land on their hands, eyes, nose, or mouth.
Surprisingly, people who inhale these germs do not need to have face-to-face contact with the infected person. Germs can remain suspended in the air for several minutes and even travel from room to room though ventilation systems.
How to Prevent Airborne Germ Transmission
To protect patients, hospitals regularly use highly effective ventilation systems as well as individual air purifiers. Air purifiers are undoubtedly the most feasible option for people that do not want to invest thousands in a new ventilation system.
There are two types of air purifiers that can effectively remove germs from the air:
- True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers
- UV Light Air Purifiers
True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers
A true HEPA filter has the ability to filter 99.97% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size. Bacteria generally range in length from 1 to 10 microns. That means that an air purifier with a true HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of the germs that flow through. To put this into prospective, a single sneeze can release 100,000 germs into the air, and an air purifier can eliminate 99,970 of those germs.
UV Light Air Purifiers
You’ve probably heard of UV light when discussing the effects of the sun. UV light is the same light that burns your skin during the summer. Thanks to modern technology, these light rays have now been harnessed to kill bacteria. UV light purifiers use intense levels of UV-C rays to kill germs. These rays penetrate microorganisms and destroy their genetic makeup leaving them functionless.
How to Choose an Air Purifier for Germs
As explained above, using an air purifier is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of airborne germs. When choosing an air purifier of this type, it is best to buy an air purifier that uses both UV light technology and a true HEPA filter. A true HEPA filter will capture 99.97% of the initial germs that enter the machine, and the UV technology will subsequently kill any stragglers. Using these two technologies in tandem will effectively remove airborne bacteria and viruses.
Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.