As the coronavirus continues to spread, more and more people have their own disinfectants, work from home, get sick, avoid unnecessary travel and do everything they can to prevent illness. New discoveries are needed every flu season.
Regardless of the need to remain sterile, air quality cannot be ignored. The following is a summary of three major environmental factors that can weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to infection.
1. The low temperature
Flu season always has a winter cause. This is the same reason why some medical professionals wonder whether coronavirus has a similar seasonality. The number of cases dropped in summer and was repeated in early autumn.
Research shows that the main cause of colds is rhinoviruses, which can survive at lower temperatures and spread more efficiently. That's because rhinoviruses replicate better at lower temperatures, or because cold and dry weather can keep them in the body longer.
A runny nose from a cold can also increase your susceptibility to infection. As the nose moves, the frequency of contact with the face increases, increasing the risk of virus transmission from the contaminated surface to the nasal cavity. The habitual blowing of the nose also irritates the skin, bringing capillaries closer to the surface and allowing the virus to enter the bloodstream directly. As if that weren't enough, the cold temperatures outside can increase the time you spend indoors, where close contact and contamination can occur.
But you don't just have to worry about the temperature, not just the winter. Beware of thermostats in spring and resist the urge to cool the air in your home and office when summer begins to heat up.
2. Low humidity
Low humidity is the second reason winter is synonymous with the cold and flu season. Outdoor humidity naturally decreases with temperature because cold air stores less moisture than hot air. Indoor heating systems exacerbate the problem by drying out small amounts of water that remain in homes, offices and other public places. Researchers believe they can help with long-term virus infection, such as in low-humidity environments with air edges, increasing exposure and contributing to outbreaks.
In a high-profile CDC study, researchers used mannequines to breathe and cough to simulate the spread of the flu and test how humidity affects infection rates. I was able to "cough" in the air 70 to 77 percent of flu viruses that were still infectious an hour later in low indoor humidity (23 percent). If humidity increases to 43% even after an hour, only 14% of the particles are infectious. In fact, at high humidity, most flu particles break down and become inactive after just 15 minutes.
Take away? If you observe indoor humidity, especially with seasonal changes, you can stay healthy throughout the year. Buying a good humidifier can reduce irritation to the respiratory tract and make public areas more sanitary.
3. High particles
Numerous studies have found links between ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) and chronic diseases such as asthma and eczema. For people with a certain genetic susceptibility, air pollution can act as a spark in the environment where these genes are expressed.
Long-term exposure to PM2.5 can affect the overall health of the immune system, even in the absence of pre-existing conditions. Studies have shown that high PM2.5 exposure can lead to chronic respiratory infections and increase the risk of respiratory infections and other long-term complications.
Elevated PM2.5 levels also increase the body's natural allergic inflammation and immune response. This overcompensation may eventually lead to anaphylaxis (the development of allergies).
You can't change the external conditions, but you can take steps to improve the indoor climate and keep your immune system healthy. Temtop air quality monitor records temperature, humidity, PM2.5, carbon dioxide (CO2) and toxic chemicals (VOC) and provides insights and instructions on improving indoor air quality.
Click the link below to learn more about the Temtop air quality monitor and how to take action when it's most important.