Washington, July 4 (IANS) Portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air cleaners, together with masks, can reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosols indoors by 90 per cent, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can be spread by exposure to droplets and aerosols of respiratory fluids that are released by infected persons when they cough, sing, talk, or exhale.To reduce indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between persons, the CDC recommends measures including maintaining physical distance, universal masking (the use of face masks in public places by everyone who is not fully vaccinated), and increasing room ventilation."Ventilation systems can be supplemented with portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners to reduce the number of airborne infectious particles," the CDC said in a statement.Researchers from the CDC used respiratory simulators to mimic a person with Covid-19 and other, uninfected persons in a conference room. They found HEPA air cleaners to be most effective when they were close to the aerosol source."Using two HEPA air cleaners close to the aerosol source reduced the aerosol exposure of the uninfected participants and speaker by up to 65 per cent. A combination of HEPA air cleaners and universal masking reduced exposure by up to 90 per cent," the CDC said.Ventilation is a well-established method for reducing potential exposures to infectious aerosols. By removing airborne particles from a room, ventilation systems can reduce exposures that occur by inhalation of infectious aerosols, deposition on susceptible mucous membranes, or conveyance to mucous membranes by contaminated hands.During the ongoing pandemic, public health and professional organisations have provided guidance for increasing ventilation and air filtration to decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2.A The results of this study suggest that portable HEPA air cleaners can reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments, with greater reductions in exposure occurring when used in combination with universal masking, the CDC said.--IANSrvt/vd
Los Angeles, June 30 (IANS) Public health officials in the Los Angeles County have strongly recommended that local residents wear masks indoors in public places due to increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta Covid-19 variant across the US.The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement on Tuesday that places include such settings as "grocery or retail stores; theatres and family entertainment centres, and workplaces when you don't know everyone's vaccination status", Xinhua news agency reported.It's the second day in a row for the Department to urge people to mask up again in all indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals in most public settings in California after the state announced its decision to fully reopen its economy on June 15.In the week ending June 12, Delta variants accounted for nearly half of all variants sequenced in Los Angeles County, according to the Department. Health officials pointed out that fully vaccinated people appear to be well protected from infections with Delta variants, but people with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not as well-protected.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Delta variants are now responsible for about one in every five new infections across the country, up from approximately one in every 10 the week before."Fully vaccinated people are well protected against serious illness and disease caused by variants of concern including the Delta variant," said the county's Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in the statement on Tuesday, adding that she encourages everyone eligible and unvaccinated to take another look at all of the mounting information on the vaccines' safety and effectiveness."Ninety-nine per cent of all new cases of Covid-19 and hospitalisations since January have been among unvaccinated individuals and 99.8 per cent of the people who have tragically died have been unvaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the most powerful protection for you and your community," Ferrer noted.Los Angeles County, home to over 10 million residents, was once an epicentre the pandemic in California and the country. But new cases, related deaths and hospitalizations have plummeted in the county amid vaccine rollout.The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported a total of 1,249,835 confirmed cases, with 24,482 deaths.--IANSksk/
Chennai, May 4 (IANS) Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) have developed a paper-based sensor that can detect antimicrobial pollutants, which induce antimicrobial resistance in water bodies.This sensor works on a asee and tell' mechanism that makes it logistically effective for wide implementation.Scientific communities across the world are focused on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which could possibly become a world-wide health crisis involving deadly pathogens. Water bodies are the major source for the dissemination and transfer of AMR. Periodic monitoring of antimicrobial pollutants and antibiotic-resistant genes is the key to assess the current situation of AMR in India.The team developed a novel strategy for low-cost fabrication of the robust laser printed-microfluidic paper-based analytical sensors. It will help to detect antimicrobials easily in the parts per million range. The process utilises the easily available laser printer and hence offers tremendous potential for large scale sensor fabrication. It could enable community-driven microfluidics and facilitate mass surveillance.It will also help understand the relationship between AMR and AMR-triggering pollutants and assist policymakers in framing solutions to tackle grand societal AMR challenges.The novel sensor can be used for monitoring environment, healthcare and also for food safety analysis, revealed the findings published in the journal Scientific Reports."Paper-based sensors offer an affordable platform for various point-of-care applications as they support fluid flow based on a wicking action and are governed by capillary forces. This eliminates the requirement of a pump-to-flow liquids. We have come up with a novel method for the fabrication of paper- based devices using a commercial laser printer," said S Pushpavanam, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, in a statement.The team used the fabricated devices for the detection of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, biocides such as triclosan and heavy metals such as chromium, copper and lead. The devices can be used for antimicrobial resistance surveillance in water bodies, they said.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Chandigarh, Dec 11 (IANS) Amid complaints of mass violations of Covid-19 curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered restriction of 100 people in indoor and 250 in outdoor gatherings, with extension of night curfew in all cities and towns till January 1.He also directed Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta to strictly enforce the restrictions at marriage palaces and other places, with penalties to be imposed on the hosts in case of any deviance.Taking cognisance of the high case fatality rate in the state, he also extended curfew restrictions (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) till January 1.Chairing a high-level review meeting, the Chief Minister also ordered an end to home quarantine for those above the age of 70 with co-morbidities, unless adequate medical facilities can be made available at home.Health Secretary Hussan Lal pointed out during the virtual meeting that a large number of coronavirus deaths were also being reported from home isolation cases.To further check fatality, the Chief Minister also ordered a thorough check of all private hospitals to ensure that only those with adequate Level III infrastructure and manpower be allowed to admit Covid-19 patients.Hospitals lacking such facilities should refer patients to other hospitals, he said.Though the declining positivity trend in Punjab over the past three weeks was welcome, the fatality rate remained a matter of concern, said Amarinder Singh, directing the DGP to ensure strict compliance to safety protocols, including wearing of masks and social distancing.He also asked the Health Department to maintain the 30,000 per day RT-PCR sampling and testing limit, with more smart and targeted sampling to include potential super spreaders.The Chief Minister also asked the Health Department to monitor the health of the farmers who are returning from Delhi in view of the risk to them due to the high case load there.The Health Secretary said so far close to 35 lakh samples had been tested in the state, of which 1.5 lakh were found positive.Though the second wave in Punjab had so far been mild, the health authorities were fully geared to tackle any eventuality, he said.He noted that 87 per cent of the deaths had been over the age of 45, with about 50 per cent of the deaths taking place at private tertiary care centres.--IANSvg/vd
The air that we take inside the body daily through our breath also has a significant effect on our health. In fact, the study has stated that one of the 2 most polluted cities in the continent of Asia is the national capital New Delhi and the second city is Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Air Pollution Increases in Winter
The problem of air pollution in the winter season increases even more because stubble is lit on large scales in many parts of North India. Several steps are also being taken by the government to curb the sale of firecrackers and burning of firecrackers, despite its air pollution levels have been steadily increasing for the last few days which will probably reach worse after Diwali. A rapid increase in air pollution means that the problems related to people's health will also increase in the same proportion.
Polluted Air Can Cause Many Diseases
Pollutants in polluted air cause many health problems such as respiratory problems, damage to the eyes, skin diseases, asthma attacks, etc. There have been several studies in this regard that have been reported that prolonged exposure to polluted air can cause problems such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and brain damage, and later in life. The risk of dementia also increases over the years.
Measures to Reduce Air Pollution
There is not much you can do at your level to reduce the air pollution outside the house, except try to stay at least in contact with the polluted air. But you can definitely make the air inside the house clean and pollution-free. Here are some tips to reduce indoor pollution:
1. Clean the House Regularly
If dust accumulates inside the house, there is a problem of mold and damping, then it also keeps the person exposed to air pollutants for a long time. So check every corner inside your house to see if there is any dampness or mold or if there is no dust for a long time. If so, clean the house thoroughly. Be sure to thoroughly clean the AC vent, curtains, bed sheets, pillows, quilts, etc., and furniture regularly. Doing this can prevent pollution particles from freezing.
2. Plant Indoor Plants at Home
Houseplants that can be easily placed indoors also help clean and purify the indoor air as these plants release oxygen. Bring indoor plants like Erica Palm and Snake Plant home to help you improve the indoor air quality. But while keeping these plants indoors, make sure that there is no problem of fungi or mildew (plant disease). Also, water should not accumulate around the plants, or else it may cause mosquitoes.
3. Install Air Purifiers at Home
In view of the increasing air pollution, the demand for air purifiers has also increased these days. Air purifiers, especially ionic purifiers, go a long way in almost completely removing air pollution particles and stimulants. This is the right time to buy a good purifier and if you can afford one, take an air purifier and place it in the most used place in the house.
4. The Operation of Air is Necessary
If there is a problem of moisture or dampness in the house and the particles of pollution remain stored at someplace for a long time, then this also increases the exposure level of the person to pollution. To avoid this, it is very important that you allow air to flow properly in your home. Instead of keeping all the windows of the house closed at all times, open the windows for a while. But if you are worried while opening the window that more pollution can come inside the house, then arrange for an exhaust fan and vent (skylight).
5. Use Natural Air Purifiers
Apart from indoor plants or houseplants, there are many natural things that can clean and purify the indoor environment and air. Such as activated charcoal, which is known to remove toxic substances present in the air. Apart from this, beeswax candles, bamboo charcoal, and salt lamps can also help in cleaning and purifying the indoor air.
6. Maintain Gas Appliances and Candles Correctly
Smoke emitting while cooking and the smoke emitted during the burning of many indoor products such as candles or oil lamps also negatively affect the indoor air quality. So make sure that your gas pipeline or cylinder is completely safe, use a ventilator or chimney while cooking so that the smoke passes out quickly rather than accumulate indoors and as far as possible from candles and oil lamps Useless.
This content loaded with suggestions provides casual information only. It is in no way a replacement for a qualified medical opinion. Always talk with an Ayurveda doctor for more queries.
New York - To fight against novel coronavirus, scientists, including one of Indian-origin who studied the aerodynamics of infectious Covid-19 disease have shared steps to curb transmission during indoor activities.
"Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, avoid large gatherings. As the world awaits a safe and effective vaccine, controlling the Covid-19 pandemic hinges on widespread compliance with these public health guidelines," said study researcher Abhishek Kumar from the University of Colorado Boulder in the US.
"But as colder weather forces people to spend more time indoors, blocking disease transmission will become more challenging than ever," Kumar added.
The study, presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics, suggests strategies for lowering risk based on a rigorous understanding of how infectious particles mix with air in confined spaces.
Research early in the pandemic focused on the role played by large, fast-falling droplets produced by coughing and sneezing.
However, documented super-spreader events hinted that airborne transmission of tiny particles from everyday activities may also be a dangerous route of infection.
Fifty-three of 61 singers in Washington state, for example, became infected after a 2.5-hour choir rehearsal in March.
Of 67 passengers who spent two hours on a bus with a Covid-19-infected individual in Zhejiang Province, China, 24 tested positive afterward.
The researchers found that when people speak or sing loudly, they produce dramatically larger numbers of micron-sized particles compared to when they use a normal voice.
The particles produced during yelling, they found, greatly exceed the number produced during coughing.
In guinea pigs, they observed influenza can spread through contaminated dust particles. If the same is true for the SARS-CoV-2, the researchers said, then objects that release contaminated dust-like tissues may pose a risk.
The research focused on how the virus might spread during music performance. They discussed results from experiments designed to measure aerosol emission from instrumentalists.
According to the researchers, travelling to and from office buildings in passenger cars also poses an infection risk.
Kenny Breuer and his collaborators at the Brown University performed numerical simulations of how air moves through passenger car cabins to identify strategies that may reduce infection risk.
If air enters and exits a room at points far away from passengers, then it may reduce the risk of transmission. In a passenger car, they said, that means strategically opening some windows and closing others.
The researchers said that staying six feet apart "offers little protection from pathogen-bearing aerosol droplets sufficiently small to be continuously mixed through an indoor space."
"A better, flow-dynamics-based understanding of how infected particles move through a room may ultimately yield smarter strategies for reducing transmission," the authors wrote. (IANS)