Particles .3 microns in size and smaller can remain in the air for extended periods of time. If you put to use a laser particle counter inside your home or office, you would be able to see the myriad invisible particulates that always are with us. The Center for Disease Control inexplicably almost always rejects airborne transmission of infection, despite abundant evidence through detailed studies that consistently indicates otherwise.
The most recent example can be found at the outset of the Covid-19 outbreak. Early on the CDC took the position that airborne transmission was not a threat. However, the agency has revised its position as it better understands this virus. The current global pandemic is just another example that airborne threats should be considered possible up front. Resources and studies must be used to help better understand the airborne role off all viruses and infections and how air quality impacts secondary infection. This allows us to use existing – and develop additional – technologies to mitigate the spread of infection and form wide-ranging approaches to curtailing them.
Too often we get tunnel vision. Infection is clever – and versatile. We must be diligent as we search for pathways taken because often they include multiple avenues, moving about on surfaces, through the air and in our water supplies. Only through comprehensive strategies and understandings can we most effectively go to battle against these threats to our health.
Clostridium Difficile, MRSA, Acinetobacter Baumannii are among a host of serious (bug) illnesses that can be found in and potentially transmitted through the air. Infection control programs must be developed with this in mind because any approach to disease transmission must include an airborne component to be fully effective.
The links directly below provide extensive evidence that we ignore airborne threats at our own peril.
- The Potential for Airborne Dispersal of Clostridium difficilefrom Symptomatic Patients
- Airborne MRSA and Total Staphylococcus aureusas Associated With Particles of Different Sizes on Pig Farms
- Experimental airborne transmission of Streptococcus suis capsular type 2 in pigs
- Candida Auris, An Agent of Hospital-Associated Outbreaks: Which Challenging Issues Do We Need to Have in Mind?
- Contamination of Ambient Air with Acinetobacter baumanniion Consecutive Inpatient Days
- UMD Study Provides New Clues to How Flu is Spread
Airborne particles also can settle on surfaces and be re-introduced to our surroundings when disturbed. Because of this, effective and ongoing filtration should be employed to remove the potentially harmful particles from the air whenever and wherever possible. This is particularly important for those with respiratory ailments that might be exacerbated by exposure to a range of airborne particles. The links below show research and studies that demonstrate the need for diligent filtration.
- Bioaerosol generation by raindrops on soil
- Potential for aerosolization of Clostridium difficile after flushing toilets: the role of toilet lids in reducing environmental contamination risk
- Resuspension of allergen-containing particles under mechanical and aerodynamic disturbances from human walking
- Reaerosolization of Spores from Flooring Surfaces To Assess the Risk of Dissemination and Transmission of Infections