Industrial Air Filtration Company Camfil Explains - Common Airborne Respiratory Illnesses

Common Airborne Respiratory Illnesses During the Winter Season and How to Prevent Spreading Them

In this article, air quality experts from global air filtration manufacturer Camfil discuss airborne illnesses that commonly spread during the winter and how air filtration can help reduce cases.



Common Airborne Respiratory Illnesses During the Winter Season and How to Prevent Spreading Them

The winter season often brings with it an increased risk of respiratory illnesses caused by airborne pathogens. These illnesses can spread quickly and easily in closed environments such as schools, offices, or nursing homes. In this article, air quality experts from global air filtration manufacturer Camfil discuss airborne illnesses that commonly spread during the winter and how air filtration can help reduce cases.

How Does Airborne Disease Transmission Work?

Airborne diseases are spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks and releases infectious particles into the air. These particles, if large and heavy enough, may quickly settle onto surfaces, floors, or even other people nearby. Smaller, lighter particles, however, are able to remain suspended in the air for hours or even days. While the particles are suspended in the air, they can follow the air currents around a room or into a hallway. Some may be drawn into the HVAC system which causes the contaminants to spread throughout the building, much further than their larger counterparts. In addition to the illnesses discussed in this article, COVID-19 is also an airborne respiratory illness, but the prevalence of being spread through HVAC systems and ductwork is unclear at this time

Which Airborne Respiratory Diseases Are Common During the Winter?

  • Common Cold. The common cold is a very contagious respiratory illness that is most commonly spread during the winter season. There are many kinds of viruses that cause the common cold, but the most common are rhinoviruses. Symptoms of the common cold include a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and congestion. Most cases of the common cold are mild and resolve within a few days without treatment. However, in some cases, the infection can progress to more serious illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

  • RSV. Short for respiratory syncytial virus, RSV is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe respiratory illness in children and the elderly. The virus is especially prone to spread during the winter season and can cause serious health complications for certain people. RSV is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations every year. Because it is a viral illness, there is no cure for RSV infection and it is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchitis in infants under a year old, according to the CDC. Because it is a viral illness, there is no cure for RSV, but there are treatments available that can help lessen the severity of symptoms. Prevention of RSV infection is key, and there are many steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure.

  • Influenza. The flu is a contagious virus that is often associated with colder weather, with cases in the United States peaking between December and February. Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue. In some cases, the infection can progress to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. Although vaccinations are available, viruses that cause the flu.

  • Whooping Cough. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria and can cause severe respiratory illness in children, the elderly, and people with existing health complications. The bacteria are especially prone to spread during the winter season and can cause serious health complications to certain people. Infected individuals can remain contagious for more than two weeks after the onset of their symptoms. Whooping cough is usually treated with a course of antibiotics.

  • Strep Throat. Another common respiratory illness is strep throat, a bacterial infection that can cause severe sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Strep throat is especially prone to spread during the winter months when people are often in close contact with others in crowded places such as schools, offices, grocery stores, and other public buildings. Strep throat can also be treated with antibiotics.

How Air Filtration Can Reduce the Spread of Respiratory Illnesses

HVAC systems are a great way to reduce the spread of airborne respiratory illnesses. By using high-efficiency air filters, particles can be removed from the air that contains viruses and bacteria. By selecting the ideal air filters for your system, you can help reduce the spread of airborne illnesses, especially when used in conjunction with proper hygiene practices. While you certainly can upgrade existing HVAC air filters to more efficient styles, most systems cannot house medical-grade air filters that are efficient enough to trap virus- and bacteria-containing aerosols. However, in-room air purifiers with certified HEPA filters, such as Camfil's City M, are available. These devices plug into standard electrical outlets and operate independently of the building's HVAC system while delivering the medical-grade air quality needed to lower risks .

About Camfil Clean Air Solutions

For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.

The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 31​ manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,200 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at Camfil USA

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Camfil USA Air Filters

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