Updated: Dec 1, 2021
The world has been grappling with COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 since the end of 2019. A little over a year later, it has uncontrollably plagued the globe with new UK, South African and Brazilian variants spreading more easily and quickly, and now possibly being more lethal, according to data released this weekend. The good news is that current vaccines appear to remain effective against the UK strain. The bad news is, the South African variant presented resistance to three antibody treatments developed. To add, scientists also suspect a Brazilian variant to create similar challenges as the South African strain. As Dr. Fauci elaborates about new data on virulent UK, South African and Brazilian strains, more statistics and peer review analysis is required to definitively understand the behavior of these variants. For these reasons, it remains imperative to practice physical distancing, good hand hygiene and mask wearing, especially when indoors with others. For more protection, it is wise to double up on the mask, and of course, get vaccinated when you can to increase herd immunity.
Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality to Reduce COVID-19 Infections
The CDC explains SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory diseases can spread via contact transmission, droplet transmission and airborne transmission, Most infections occur indoor when contagious individuals cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe, releasing respiratory droplets that are inhaled into noses and mouths of people within 6 feet of them, as shown in the Respiratory Droplets vs Airborne Transmission image. Respiratory droplets, represented in red and grey, are 5 microns or larger in size and aqueous in state. Smaller droplets can quickly dry to become particles carrying virus in the air stream.
Airborne transmission, although not as prevalent as respiratory droplet transmission, can occur as 5 micron or smaller particle sizes drift in the air at greater distances and for longer times. This is shown as smaller, less dense particle streams in purple above. When inside crowded spaces with poor ventilation and lots of movement, the risk of airborne transmission increases.
So how can businesses and families improve #IndoorAirQuality (IAQ) to protect those working within their offices and living in their homes not knowing if the air has been contaminate? Aside from typical social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitizing methods, here are additional #IndoorAirPurification tips to help reduce COVID-19 and other contaminants inside buildings.
Ventilate indoor air by opening windows and screen doors as much as possible to get outside air flowing through.
Depending on the frequency of HVAC use, replace the filter at least annually with a high quality HEPA filter (captures pollutants down to 0.3 microns).
If possible, turn at least the HVAC and bathroom fans on when at home to enhance ventilation.
For better air purification, use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to denature viruses, bacteria, mold and germs. This also helps to reduce allergens and illness. Make sure to use non-ozone producing UV bulbs, as its inhalation can irritate the respiratory system.
Ultraviolet (UV) light is an electromagnetic radiation occurring from sunlight or artificial sources used in industry, commerce and recreation. The UV radiation spectrum is divided into 3 regions: UV-A or long-wave (315-400 nm), UV-B or medium-wave (280-315 nm) and UV-C or short-wave (100-280 nm). UV-C, synonymous with UVGI for its germicidal properties, inactivates microorganisms at the nucleic acids level, thereby disabling its DNA and its ability to reproduce. Thus, UV-C / UVGI is the wavelength used for air and surface disinfection.
NCide offers UVGI air purification solutions for both commercial and residential environments. The UVGI air purification system can be installed in-duct with existing HVAC systems in homes, restaurants, gyms, schools, senior care facilities, hospitals and other public and private businesses. It is a chemical-free, food-safe solution to help reduce allergens, odor, mold and diseases. UVGI systems supplied by NCide use non-ozone UV bulbs, which are nonirritants and are healthy to respiratory systems.
From the perspective of COVID-19 in the United States, the CDC reported 25,152,433 total cases and 419,827 total deaths since January 26, 2021. The death toll is expected to reach 465,000 to 508,000 by Valentine's Day. These are grim numbers to greet the day of love with and will only increase as various strains of COVID-19 infections spread throughout the country, not to mention other new contagious diseases spawning in the future. Unless there are concerted efforts to protect employees, customers, visitors and families as we wait for herd immunity with vaccines, American lives and livelihood will continue to be hampered. So let's work to mitigate COVID-19 by practicing the standard preventive methods. Share the gift of "LOVE" this Valentine by giving the gift of "CLEAN, FRESH AIR TO BREATHE"!