Coronavirus: What is it and How to Reduce the Risk of Infection
Help combat airborne viruses with the
Minimate™ AS180i Personal Ionic Air Purifier.
The United States recently issued the highest level travel advisory for China over the rapidly spreading outbreak of coronavirus. Delta and United airlines have halted all flights to mainland China. For those who must travel internationally, using a personal ionic air purifier like the Minimate™ AS180i Personal Ionic Air Purifier can help (see more about this below).
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a global public health emergency, requiring states to ramp up their responses. Almost 12,000 people have been diagnosed with the rapidly spreading virus and more than 200 have died, with all fatalities occurring in China.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to much more serious diseases, according to the World Health Organization. They can infect both humans and animals. The newly emergent strain in China is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused major outbreaks in recent years: MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The new virus hasn’t been named yet; it’s referred to as “a novel coronavirus."1
The new virus is believed to have originated from a live animal market in Wuhan. Health authorities say that now the virus is spreading from person to person through coughing, sneezing or touching a surface that is infected, then touching the face or coming into contact with contaminated fecal matter.
Antibiotics are not effective for viruses and there is no medication for this new coronavirus. Health-care professionals are focusing on providing “supportive care,” including ensuring patients get plenty of liquids and oxygen.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that the best precaution against contracting the virus are to avoid touching your face, stay away from people who are sick, and wash your hands frequently. The CDC also says that Americans shouldn't wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Even though this is counter to the rise in face masks sales, they say masks don't work and give the user a false sense of protection and can lead to a higher rist of coronavirus infection. Face masks effectiveness depends on the type of germs people want to avoid and the type of masks they wear, in addition to having the mask properly fitted.
There are two main types of face mask. FFP2 / FFP3 & N95 respirators, which are generally used to combat smoke or heavy pollution, block out particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter – but the coronavirus is 0.12 microns wide. Surgical masks, which rarely filter particles smaller than 5 microns, are more common but far less effective.2
Aside from the precautions mentioned, for those who are travelling internationally, wearable ionic air purifiers like the Minimate™ AS180i Personal Ionic Air Purifier and Minimate, have shown significant and substantial reductions of airborne, breathable particles from .04 to 3 microns in size. Filterless ionic air purifiers operate by sending out electrically charged ions into the air that bond with harmful impurities. Once a bond is made, these particles become too heavy to stay in the air. This results in the contaminants falling out of the air or grounded object, where they are attracted to the positively charged collection plate and later cleaned off by the owner. In addition to practicing the precautions outlined by the WHO, these devices may help combat airborne germs, bacteria and viruses anywhere you go by lessening the concentration of inhaled airborne infectious contaminants. Lessening the particle concentration reduces the probability of inhaling an infective dose thereby lowering the probability of becoming infected.*
In addition to using a personal ionic air purifier, WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public, to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, are as follows:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
WHO also warned that people of any age can become infected by the virus and that older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions seem to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
1The new viral threat: What you need to know
2Coronavirus outbreak leads to surge in sales of face masks
*We do not claim to treat, cure, prevent or lessen the progression or severity of any disease.