Picture the scene: You’re at a bustling train station taking in the sights and sounds of events unfolding around you. So many different people living their varied lives, from excited travelers making their way to the next destination to stressed commuters talking business on the phone, and from elderly couples taking their noisy grandchildren to the beach to dog owners on their way to the vet.
We’ve all found ourselves in scenarios just like this, but what we’re often unaware of is the microscopic (yet epic!) battle taking place in the background. Every breath we take, every touch, every interaction can be a pathway for tiny invaders – viruses and bacteria – as they try to make their way into someone’s respiratory system.
But just how many of these minute foes does it actually take to make us ill? What are the most common respiratory pathogens? Where can they be found? And what exactly can we do to protect ourselves from them? If you want to know the answers to these questions and more, read on.
1. influenza (the flu)
Where it lurks: Influenza is everywhere, especially in crowded places like public transport, schools and offices. This virus spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
How much is needed: Just one infected droplet is enough. The sheer number of viral particles found in a sneeze is staggering – up to 200 million!
Danger level: Most people recover within a week; but for the elderly, young children and those with certain health conditions, the flu can prove fatal.
Countermeasures: Annual vaccination is the most effective way to avoid the flu. But other effective measures include frequent handwashing, avoiding close contact with infected individuals and wearing a mask – or even better, Respiray’s personal air purifier Wear A+, which filters out over 99% of viruses and bacteria.
2. the common cold
Where it lurks: It’s ubiquitous – the common cold virus is found everywhere, from homes and offices to public spaces.
How much is needed: Even just a few viral particles can be enough to start an infection.
Danger level: The effects of a cold are typically mild, but it can lead to complications in vulnerable people.
Countermeasures: There’s no vaccine for the common cold, but good hygiene, avoiding infected individuals and wearing a mask – or again, preferably the Wear A+ wearable air purifier – can help to reduce its reach.
3. tuberculosis (TB)
Where it lurks: TB is caused by airborne bacteria, which are often found in settings where people reside together closely for extended periods, like prisons or homeless shelters.
How much is needed: A small number of bacterial cells can cause an infection, and regular exposure or prolonged contact with an infected person increases the risk level.
Danger level: If left untreated, TB will kill around half of its victims.
Countermeasures: A vaccine called BCG provides protection, and early detection followed by a course of antibiotics can effectively treat and cure TB. You can also protect yourself in high-risk areas using a wearable air purifier necklace like Respiray Wear A+.
Where it lurks: Pneumonia-causing bacteria and viruses are commonplace. The pathogens that cause this illness, which is an inflammation of the lungs, can be contracted in communal settings, and pneumonia can also develop after someone’s immune system has been weakened by a cold or the flu.
How much is needed: The amount required to become ill varies as pneumonia can result from a variety of pathogens, and susceptibility also differs between individuals.
Danger level: Pneumonia can be severe, especially for those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and young children.
Countermeasures: Vaccination against common respiratory pathogens, maintaining good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle and using Wear A+ when in crowded places can decrease the risk of pneumonia.
Where it lurks: Asthma isn’t infectious, but certain allergenic triggers like pollen, dust mites and pet dander can cause a flare-up in sufferers.
How much is needed: The amount of allergens needed to trigger an asthmatic reaction varies. Some individuals react to minimal exposure, while others will only respond to more significant triggers.
Danger level: Asthma attacks can be life-threatening if not managed effectively.
Countermeasures: Knowing one’s triggers, going for regular check-ups, taking prescribed medications and filtering the air with a personal air purifier like Wear A+ can help to control asthma.
Where it lurks: COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person. Crowded places, close-contact settings and confined spaces can facilitate the spread if someone is infected.
How much is needed: Research suggests that even a small viral load can cause infection, especially in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
Danger level: The effects range from mild symptoms to severe pneumonia. Certain groups, like the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, are at higher risk.
Countermeasures: Vaccination, wearing a mask, personal distancing and proper hand hygiene are all effective prevention methods. Using the Respiray Wear A+ personal air purifier will also enhance protection, ensuring clean air with every breath.
the more we know, the safer we can be
In our interconnected world, it’s crucial to understand that respiratory diseases don’t respect borders – a sneeze in one continent can cause a fever in another. Knowledge is power, and by understanding where these diseases thrive and how they spread, we can take measures to protect ourselves.
Additionally, our environment plays an important role. Pollution, for instance, can exacerbate respiratory conditions. Therefore, the cleaner our surroundings, the healthier our lungs. By using air purification devices like Wear A+, not only are we safeguarding our respiratory health, but we’re also taking a proactive step towards a cleaner, healthier future.
Respiratory diseases have posed a danger to humanity for time immemorial. These days, equipped with knowledge, technology and innovative devices like the Wear A+ wearable air purifier, we can combat them more effectively than ever – after all, prevention is better than cure. So, here’s to taking a deep, healthy breath!