Using an air purifier to combat COVID-19

As of 19 January 2023, there have been 668 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and it has claimed the lives of over 6 million people1. It is the fifth deadliest pandemic in the history of mankind. Although restrictions may have eased, COVID-19 is still very much present amongst us with the continual introduction of new variants and waves of infection. As we complete a third year of mask-wearing and social distancing under the effects of COVID-19, let’s take a look at what COVID-19 is, its symptoms, and how we can protect ourselves from infection.

COVID-19 written in pills

What is COVID-19?

The coronavirus disease (also known as COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. An infected person can spread the disease via his or her mouth or nose in the form of liquid particles (coughing, sneezing, speaking, or breathing)2. The liquid particles can range drastically in size – from larger droplets (several tens of microns) to smaller aerosols (down to 0.5 μm)  – but liquid particles of any size can still transmit the disease to another person.

What are the symptoms?

In adults and children, the symptoms of COVID-19 can include all or some of the following:

  • A fever or shivering (chills) – a high temperature can be determined without measuring if you feel hot to the touch on the chest or back
  • A continuous cough – coughing for more than one hour
  • Changed or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Achiness throughout the body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea

A sick man under a blanket sipping tea

Who is most at risk?

Any and all individuals are susceptible to contracting COVID-19. For most healthy individuals, symptoms closely resemble those of a cold or the flu and can last for several days. However, some groups of individuals are more at risk for severe and long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms. These high-risk people, also known as clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable, may have the following:

  • Certain types of cancer, such as leukaemia or lymphoma
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Diseases of the blood
  • Liver disease
  • Organ or blood marrow transplant recipients
  • Autoimmune or inflammatory disease
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Conditions affecting the brain and/or nerves such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or Huntington’s disease
  • Someone who is immunocompromised as a result of medical treatment3

Individuals of the following categories are also at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19:

  • Aged 60 years or over
  • Pregnant
  • Not vaccinated against COVID-193

How can we protect ourselves from COVID-19?

The following best practices have become ubiquitous in the past three years and can can help protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19:

  • Keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from other individuals
  • Avoid the 3 Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded, or involve close contact
  • When you cannot keep your distance from others or in situations where ventilation is not possible, wear a properly-fitted mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin – clean your hands after touching it!
  • Clean your hands regularly with alcohol-based soap or hand rub
  • Always cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • If you start to feel unwell, get tested for COVID-19
    • If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-194

A woman wearing a mask

At home and in the workplace, it is always crucial to ventilate your space regularly. By replacing stale air with fresh air, the likelihood of breathing infected air decreases. Open doors and windows to encourage fresh air to enter and stale air to exit.

Unfortunately, leaving windows and doors open isn’t always an option – this may be due to outdoor air temperature, outdoor air pollution, allergies, security reasons, noise, or extreme outdoor temperatures (hot and cold). An excellent way to ensure purified, clean air is to equip your space with an air purifier.

Protect yourself with an Eoleaf air purifier

It is worth noting that while air purifiers can be very helpful in removing viruses from the air, they do not stop all modes of transmission. We must be diligent in following the above best practices to prevent transmission, even when we have an air purifier present.

That being said, air purifiers are proven to help reduce pathogens and viruses suspended in the air and can be a great assistant in protecting you, your family, and your co-workers from COVID-19. How does an air purifier work? Using an internal fan to pull in air, it treats the air inside the device using various forms of filtration, removes unwanted particles, and then circulates the purified air back into your space. This process can be repeated multiple times per hour for heavily polluted air.

However, not all air purifiers have the capacity to remove bacteria and viruses from the air. The most important thing to look for while researching your future air purifier is to ensure that it contains a filter that is HEPA-certified and has a UV sterilisation feature. “HEPA”, or "high-efficiency particulate air”, is the gold standard of air filtration. This certification applies to filters capable of filtering, in a single pass, at least 99.97% of particles of a size greater than or equal to a diameter of 0.01 µm. HEPA filters have been used in cleanrooms, laboratories, and operating rooms for decades. A HEPA-certified filter can remove bacteria, viruses, common household allergens (such as pet dander and pollen), pollution like dust and smoke, mould and spores, VOCs (volatile organic compounds that can be dangerous to our health), and more from the air.

The coronavirus species COVID-2019, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV range in size from 0.06 to 0.2 μm. It is widely believed that HEPA filters are only capable of capturing particles sized 0.3 μm or larger. However, this belief is based in part on an incorrect understanding of how HEPA filters work. The fact is that particles of around 0.3 μm are the hardest to catch; for this reason, that size is used to measure the effectiveness of HEPA filters. Nanoparticles of a smaller size are, in fact, easier to catch.

In order for an air purifier to function optimally, it must be properly sized to your space. We can help you find the perfect device for your needs. Reach out to our team of air purification experts today to start breathing fresher, virus-free air and protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.

A stethoscope, mask, and heart


References

1 World Health Organization. (2023, January 13). WHO coronavirus (COVID-19) dashboard. World Health Organization. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://covid19.who.int/

2 World Health Organization. (n.d.). Coronavirus. World Health Organization. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1

3 NHS. (2022, October 24). Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in adults. NHS. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/covid-19/covid-19-symptoms-and-what-to-do/

4 World Health Organization. (2022, May 10). Advice for the public on covid-19. World Health Organization. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public 

Eoleaf's range of air purifiers

1 of 4