How Viruses Are Transmitted
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have acknowledged what many researchers and scientists have long advocated: that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through the air. Called aerosolization, respiratory droplets of infected matter like fluid of sneezes and coughs from an infected person can travel in the air, potentially infecting people in close proximity. What's more, this acknowledgment also verifies that the virus can travel more than six feet in the air.
How to Protect Against Viruses
According to the CDC's recently updated (April 5) guidance on COVID spread, "surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads, and the risk is considered to be low." In fact, the CDC states "contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection."
How Should This Information Change Our Infection Prevention Protocols?
It's time to change the way we think about indoor hygiene. As Bloomberg so aptly states: "Ask for Air Filters, Not Bleach."
We've taken rigorous action to eliminate surface contamination, it's time we take the same consideration to air.
According to Harvard Schools for Health, the most ideal solution is to bring fresh outdoor air into a room. Unfortunately, it is not the most viable solution in many environments. While HVAC systems work to recirculate the air, they don't clean the air. That is why it is recommended to utilize True HEPA filtration in addition to HVAC systems to ensure proper ventilation and filtration.
Installing HEPA filters in existing HVAC systems won't improve building air quality. HEPA filters are bulky and do a better job of trapping germs in the direct area near the intake. These filters drag down HVAC efficiency and reduce air flow.
Focus on Cleaning, Instead of Moving the Air
By installing air purifiers that use a True HEPA Filtration in key areas, you can boost the effectiveness of HVAC systems by not only moving the air but cleaning the air.
That said, it is essential to first understand the difference between HEPA like filtration and True HEPA Filtration to ensure you and others are breathing clean air.
In an Open Letter
A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries have published their open letter to the global health community to present additional evidence. In their letter, the highly qualified group state:
- Multiple studies "have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air"
- These microdroplets "pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond [3 to 6 feet] from an infected person"
- "We are advocating for the use of preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission"
Your Virus Protection Plan
While it’s believed that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person contact, officials haven’t ruled out surface contact as a potential source of contagion.
In fact, recent tests on the coronavirus showed it could stay active on various surfaces. Researchers found viable coronavirus samples could live for up to:
- 24 hours on cardboard
- Four hours on copper surfaces
- Two to three days on plastic and stainless steel
During tests, the researchers also found the coronavirus could be detected in the air up to three hours after emission, making it vital that people clean the air.
While you are actively wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces to prevent the spread of viruses, it’s essential to consider a solution to clean the air.
According to Harvard Schools for Health, they recommend bringing fresh outdoor air into a room as the most ideal solution. Unfortunately, it is not the most viable solution in many environments. They go on to recommend utilizing True HEPA filtration in addition to HVAC systems to ensure proper ventilation and filtration.
That said, it is essential to understand the difference between HEPA like filtration and True HEPA Filtration.
“Researchers also found the coronavirus could be detected in the air up to three hours after emission”