The whole world went under lockdown due to the current pandemic situation. COVID-19 affected all our lives in several ways. It made us health conscious and aware of hygiene. Now, all of us use masks and sanitizers on a regular basis. This not only helps us to prevent COVID-19, but we are able to prevent a lot of airborne diseases too. Because of COVID-19, we are taking airborne viruses seriously and taking necessary measures to prevent it from entering into our body. In this article, we will be discussing about airborne diseases; their types, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What is an Airborne Disease?
The viruses that can enter your body simply by breathing, are called airborne viruses. The diseases caused by airborne viruses are known as airborne diseases. Airborne diseases usually spread when the infected people talk, sneeze, or cough. The infected people spread throat and nasal secretions in the air, and when this air enters our body, we get infected too. Airborne viruses can also enter our bodies if we touch some surface having the virus and then later touch our mouth, nose, or eyes with that hand. After entering our bodies, these viruses reside inside us. Controlling airborne diseases are the hardest because it gets transmitted through the air.
Some facts about airborne diseases are as follows.
- The airborne diseases, including flu and colds, get transmitted form one person to another through the air.
- The symptoms of airborne diseases vary depending on the disease. The symptoms range from mild to severe ones.
- There should be good ventilation in our rooms for swapping outdoor and indoor air.
- We should use ventilation methods like turning on the fan or opening a window for exchanging the dirty air.
- Fluids and rest are the treatments for airborne diseases that are less serious.
There are several airborne diseases. Some of them are as follows.
- Whooping cough – Whooping cough is a bacterial illness. It is contagious and causes swelling. It leaves a persistent hacking cough. It should be treated with antibiotics for preventing further damage.
- Measles – For preventing this virus from entering our bodies, we need to maintain a proper distance from the ones that are carrying this virus. Vaccination is necessary if we want to prevent this germ from entering our bodies.
- Mumps – There are glands present below our ears. This virus usually causes swelling
- Chickenpox – In this, the virus (Varicella Zoster) causes rashes. These rashes easily spread among young children. These rashes are widely spread all over the body. These rashes are usually red spots, which later forms itchy blisters. Then they scab over with time. Chicken pox can be spread for 48 hours before the showing up of the rash. This is the reason it can successfully affect other people. It can spread by air or even by touching the rashes.
- Influenza – The flu virus can easily spread from person to person. It has different strains and it keeps changing for adapting to our immune system.
- Common cold – The common cold is usually called “a cold” because it is caused by one type of rhinovirus. Plenty of rhinoviruses are out there, and their strains keep changing for affecting humans easily.
Complications caused due to airborne diseases usually affects the very old people, very young people, and the people with a weak immune system. Most of the airborne diseases have similar symptoms. Some of the symptoms may vary based on the disease. Some of the general symptoms of airborne diseases are as follows.
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches
- Swollen glands
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Inflammation of lungs, sinuses, throat, or nose.
When we have chicken pox, we usually get an itchy rash on our back, face, and chest first. After that, the rash starts spreading to the rest of our bodies. Fluid-filled blisters are formed within the next few days. Within one week, these blisters burst and then scab over.
The incubation period of measles is 7 – 18 days. The measles rash starts appearing on the neck and face first. It then spreads all over the body within the next few days. These rashes fade away within one week.
Measles causes some serious complications like:
- Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
- Respiratory infection
- Ear infections
Severe coughing is the main symptom of whooping cough. After the cough, we tend to intake a lot of air forcefully.
The symptoms of Tuberculosis depend on the organs that are affected. Coughing up blood or sputum may be one of the symptoms.
If we have diphtheria, our neck region may have marked swelling. Swallowing and breathing gets difficult in this situation.
People suffering from airborne diseases, need to take ample amount of rest. Fluid intake must be raised. The treatment varies depending on the disease. Chicken pox is an airborne disease that has no definite treatment. Although we can take help of certain medications and other supportive measures to get rid of the symptoms and support our immune system to fight against the disease.
Antiviral drugs are effective in treating some of the airborne diseases like the flu. Whooping cough, in infants, can be treated with antibiotics. In serious conditions, they need to be hospitalized immediately. Diphtheria can be treated with antibiotics and antitoxins, if diagnosed early. Tuberculosis (TB) is a very complex disease and some of its strains are even drug resistant. But some strains are treatable and curable by drugs. Completing the course of the medicine is compulsory in that case. If the course is not completed, the symptoms may return and may become untreatable later.
Avoiding airborne pathogens completely is impossible. But we can surely do certain things to lower the chances of our getting sick.
- We should avoid coming to close contact with the people carrying active symptoms of the disease.
- In case we are sick, we should always stay indoors and not let other people come to close contact with us.
- In case we can’t avoid being around others, we should always wear a face mask to prevent the virus from entering our bodies. If we are sick, the face masks will make sure that we don’t affect other people.
- We should always cover our mouths while sneezing or coughing. Using a tissue after sneezing or coughing is a must to avoid transmission of the virus on our hands.
- We should wash our hands for at least twenty seconds thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- We should not touch other people or our faces before washing our hands.
FeverWarn is a temperature scanner that scans our body temperatures and displays the result. Monitoring ourselves is a must nowadays, especially when there are so many airborne viruses around. If we get affected, we need immediate medical attention. But our first goal is to prevent the viruses from entering our body. That can be done my maintaining proper hygiene.
We should follow all the social distancing norms and use hand sanitizers and masks regularly. We should monitor ourselves regularly to check if there is any abnormal change in our body temperatures. Most of the thermal scanners that are used, scans temperature from our foreheads. FeverWarn scans our temperatures from the wrist or the fist. There are several reasons why we should opt for FeverWarn and not for other thermal scanners. They are:
- Any change in our body temperatures, affect the blood flow in our arteries. So, if we scan temperature from our arteries, chances of getting accurate results are more.
- The makeup on our skin affects the temperature readings. So, when the temperature is scanned from our foreheads, it can be inaccurate. On the other hand, we don’t usually apply makeup on our hands, so scanning temperature from our hands is more convenient.
- FeverWarn ensures safety of the data, which is not offered by any other thermal scanners out there.
- Outside weather is known to affect our skin temperature. If the outside temperature is cold, our face can be cold too. If we are getting ourselves scanned in a cold weather, then the forehead scanners are likely to show inaccurate results. On the other hand, our hands usually stay inside the jackets or sweaters during chilly days. We can take our hands out of the sweater and get ourselves scanned by FeverWarn. This ensures that we get accurate results.
- The most dangerous thing that we need to avoid in this situation is exposing ourselves to other people. Other people operate the thermal scanners and scan temperature from our foreheads, whereas it is not the case for FeverWarn. It is a self-service device and that is what makes it unique and convenient. We can place our hand below the scanner and the results will be displayed on the screen.
Monitoring ourselves is just to ensure that we are fit and there is no need to worry. But it is not the only thing that we need to do. We need to always stay conscious and take necessary precautions to save ourselves from the deadly airborne viruses.