Airborne diseases are ailments caused by pathogens transmitted through the air. They come into contact with air through sneezing coughing or even laughing. Mostly the pathogens are contained in dust particles. The most common symptoms that you may have inhaled these pathogens will be inflammation in the nose, throat and the rest of the respiratory system. Examples airborne diseases include anthrax, flu, measles, smallpox and tuberculosis. Airborne diseases are more likely to spread in crowded areas with poor sanitary conditions. Airborne diseases do not affect humans only and have been known to be present in other species of animals. Whether you are at work or at school, every day you expose yourself to pathogens in the air we breathe. Here are a few measures you can take to prevent yourself from airborne diseases.
Prevention is always better than cure. If it is possible to prevent yourself from airborne diseases do so. Vaccination is available for many airborne diseases. Make sure you and your family members or the people you live with are vaccinated. Governments have also made it mandatory to vaccinate their populations against airborne diseases like smallpox and tuberculosis. Some vaccines like those of tuberculosis and smallpox are administered at birth while others administered at a later age. Vaccines for flu are administered annually and at any age.
Personal hygiene is very important in the prevention of airborne diseases. Cover your mouth with your when sneezing and coughing and remember to wash them. Spitting is not recommended. If you have any discharge from your nose, use a handkerchief. Wash your hands frequently. If you can personal contact with infected individuals then do so.
Avoid personal contact with any infected persons. Deadly airborne diseases like anthrax require individuals to be placed under medical quarantine until they are cured. It is recommended you stay away from people if infected by mild airborne diseases like flu. These may not kill but will certainly infect one or two individuals who come into contact with you.
Masks can be used to prevent direct contact with air. Masks have been used to control outbreaks of bird flu and swine flu. Surgical masks are effective against many airborne diseases except tuberculosis and SARS. Medical agencies recommend use of N-95 masks in preventing acute outbreaks of more deadly airborne dangerous. However, they are not readily available like surgical masks and also require prior fitting before use.
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Adequate ventilation is very important. This prevents air from stagnating at one place. Air in constant motion will also reduce the concentration of pathogens in the air. Air conditioning will also lower the risk of you being infected with any airborne diseases. They filter air for dust and pathogens before pumping it. Air conditioning systems in hospitals have been faulted in several medical reports for contributing to the increase of airborne disease infection in hospitals. If the units do not provide enough clean air, increase I infections is inevitable. Recent developments in technology have led to the manufacture of air con systems that filter and kill pathogens in the air using ultraviolet radiation.