Fighting Dangerous Aerosol Transmission of COVID-19
By Roni Deluz, ND, RN, PH.D
Many health workers are concerned about an increased number in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases while we go back to our regular life. The latest research shows that coronavirus is airborne.
For a long time, we thought that the coronavirus was not airborne, and it was a sign of relief for us; recent evidence indicates otherwise. The virus can remain suspended in the air and can travel into your lungs when you inhale. Aerosol can stay in the air for a long time.
We knew about droplet transmission and fomites transmission, which spread the virus very quickly. We have learned to social distance and not to stand closer than 6 feet to others. However, now it is proven that we need to be concerned with microbes smaller than droplets.
Aerosol Versus Droplet Transmission
Aerosol particles are generally lower than 10 micrometers, which gives them the ability to stay airborne. On the other hand, the droplet particles are over 20 micrometers, and they drop to the surface sooner. It is easier for the virus to spread by aerosol transmission as compared to droplet transmission.
Three Reasons for Concern
- Aerosols can travel longer distances while droplets can only travel a short distance because of their density. In most cases, droplet travels only one to two meters.
- Aerosols are exceedingly small particles.
- Since the Aerosols are tiny, they can go deeper into our lungs compared to droplets, which makes them more dangerous.
Three Ways to Protect from Aerosol Spreading
Now that we know about the dangers of aerosol transmission, the question is, what can we do about it? We can take these serious steps to stay safe from aerosol transmission.
- Wear an N95 masks: Don’t just wear any masks to be safe. The N95 masks can filter the tiny aerosol particles from entering our mucous membranes.
- Wear P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment): It can be tiresome to wear personal protective equipment – such as masks, face shields, gloves and googles, because it is cumbersome, but wearing these can save lives.
- Add safety elements in the home: Use an air filtration system, and the pressure of the room can be moderated to reduce the range of aerosol transmission. The purchase of an air purifier with disinfecting technology can decrease the chance of aerosol spreading.
Every day we are at risk of transmission of coronavirus. Although many states are starting to open gyms, restaurants, shops, and schools, we should be aware that it is our responsibility to take personal safety measures. COVID-19 is far from over, and our careful precautions can save the lives of many people. For more information, visit www.drronideluz.com.