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Coronavirus Fears? Indoor Air Quality Aids to the Rescue!

microscopic view of coronavirus

If you are reading this now, you already know all about the recent outbreak of coronavirus cases in Canada.

As of the time of writing this post, 35 cases have been reported, the bulk of which are in Ontario.

Health Canada states that there are three main ways of transmission (listed in order of likelihood): airborne, close proximity and physical contact.

It probably won't surprise you to hear we are getting calls from worried customers requesting more information about air filtration and purification.

This post offers the latest information to help you protect yourself and your family from coronavirus.

What Is Coronavirus? A Brief Overview

As the World Health Organization (WHO) explains, coronavirus (CoV) is actually not just one virus but a family of viruses.

When a new coronavirus is identified, it is called a "novel CoV."

COVID-19 is the most recently identified novel coronavirus. It is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China, which is why the government of Canada is currently recommending that you postpone non-urgent travel to this area and other countries, like Iran, that have high incidences of COVID-19.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

The coronavirus known as COVID-19, like most coronaviruses, produces mostly respiratory symptoms.

The incubation period, which means the period of time between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms, is thought to be about 14 days. This doesn't mean it will take 14 days before you are symptomatic, however. Sometimes it takes less time.

Researchers have identified the following symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Coughing

  • Fever

  • Trouble breathing

  • Pneumonia

  • Secondary infections in the throat, nose and/or lungs

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

Researchers believe the primary method of transmission for COVID-19 is when someone who is infected sneezes and the water droplets contain the virus.

Nearby people may inhale these contaminated water droplets, touch them after they land on a common surface (such as a doorknob) or make skin contact (such as shaking hands) with an infected person.

COVID-19, like many coronaviruses, is also zoonotic, which means it can spread between people and animals. This means your pets are also at risk. However, to date, no cases of animal COVID-19 have been reported.

What Is the Risk of COVID-19 Here in Canada?

Right now, Health Canada states that the overall risk to Canadians of catching COVID-19 is "low."

However, the risk is clearly higher here in Ontario than it is in other parts of Canada, since the majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are here.

Obviously, the more precautions you can take, the lower your personal risk of contracting coronavirus will be.

Simple, Free Coronavirus Precautions You Can Take Right Now

If you take these simple and free precautions, you will automatically lower your risk of contracting coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating or after touching common surfaces.

  • Do not prepare food, eat or touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face until you have washed your hands.

  • Avoid being in close company with anyone who is sick.

Should You Wear a Face Mask to Avoid Catching Coronavirus?

At the time of writing this post, the government of Canada is recommending not wearing masks unless the following conditions apply:

  • You or someone you are caring for is experiencing symptoms of an illness that’s airborne

  • You have just returned from travelling to China

  • You have just been in the company of someone who has returned from China

Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Afghanistan are also highly infectious areas and travel is not recommended to these countries at this time. Wearing a face mask if you have travelled to these countries is also wise. 

What Else Can You Do to Guard Against Catching Coronavirus?

Ever since the first confirmed case of coronavirus was reported here in Ontario, we have been getting calls about air filtration and air purification options.

Here is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has to say about using air filtration and air purification to protect against coronavirus transmission.

Air filtration (HEPA filtration)

Right now, the CDC does recommend using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters as well as N95 face masks in areas where suspected or confirmed coronavirus 2019 cases have been confirmed.

This recommendation is specific to health clinics and hospitals where patients are being treated. However, the recommendation to use HEPA filtration units is a protective/preventative one designed to protect others from becoming infected with COVID-19.

The CDC further states that HEPA filtration may not be sufficient to filter out the smallest coronavirus particulates.

HEPA filtration, which has been the hospital and laboratory gold standard in filtration since World War II, can filter out particulates as small as 1/100th the size of a single strand of human hair (0.3 microns in size).

But HEPA filtration still provides a level of protection against airborne viral particulates that no other type of filtration currently offers, which makes it a reasonable preventative strategy.

Air purification (ultraviolet)

The virus that causes the disease COVID-19 is a variant on SARS called SARS-CoV-2.

A variety of prior research studies dating back to 2004 show that exposing coronavirus to ultraviolet light is an effective method to inactivate (neutralize) the virus.

Why Add HEPA Filtration and UV Air Purification to Your Home or Workplace?

At the moment, there is no vaccine against coronavirus. Health researchers have confirmed that people who show no symptoms may still be carrying the virus and can transmit it to others.

Bloomberg recently reported that coronavirus may be the "disease X" World Health Organization officials have been warning about.

While there is no "foolproof" prevention strategy, data does show that both HEPA filtration and UV air purification can greatly reduce the threat.

Get in Touch

Worried about protecting your family against the coronavirus outbreak? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.

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