One of the few benefits of our recent pandemic experience and the lockdowns and other precautions that ensued, was that influenza cases dropped. But it appears our escape was short lived, and 2022 is looking to be a big flu season.
In fact, Australia has had its worst May on record – more than double the month’s previous record, which was set in 2019.1
Apart from all the precautions that should be very familiar to us – washing hands thoroughly, wearing masks when appropriate, sanitising and coughing/sneezing into our elbows if we can’t avoid it, is there anything else we can do?
Choice, the consumer advocacy/advisory group and magazine was apparently asked their opinion of Air Purifiers by members. Specifically, members wanted to know whether the units designed for home were useful in reducing the spread of respiratory diseases such as coughs, colds and influenza. Their response was short – yes.2
Of course, this would assume that the air purifier in question included High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, and other technologies that help eliminate both viruses and bacteria.2
Viruses, including influenza are transmitted via droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or even just talks.3 Importantly, they can stay in the air for up to an hour, which is where an effective air purifier can be very useful.2 But when those virus particles end up on the surfaces around the home, handwashing and sanitising remain key weapons in the flu fight.
So, how does a household air purifier help protect you from influenza?
A good quality air purifier, such as the Welcare WPA300 Household Air Purifier works at a few levels in protecting you.
Firstly, the HEPA filters will remove the airborne virus particles from the air, to help stop the spread, then the air goes through a range of other filters until it reaches the final stage where it is sterilised by a combination of photocatalyst and UV light, proven to kill a variety of common viruses (including influenza), bacteria and other germs.
In summary, a combination of good room ventilation and the hygiene of hand washing and sanitising, an air purifier can certainly help reduce the risk of flu taking over your household. Just make sure it’s big enough for the room size and includes both HEPA filters and UV/photocatalytic sterilisers, like the WPA300.