There is still a lot of debate about the spread of the corona virus. In an interview with Robijn Tilanus for the website Oost-Online, doctor, epidemiologist and emeritus professor Menno Jan Bouma explains how the corona virus spreads and what the role of aerosols is in it.
It is not incomprehensible that there is a lot of discussion about the spread of the corona virus. After all, we can better arm ourselves and slow down the spread if we know how COVID-19 spreads.
Menno Jan Bouma who devoted his life to researching the spread of viruses and other disease processors sheds a light on this spread. “A virus is not a” living “being,” he clarifies. Viruses consist of genetic material (DNA and RNA), but a virus cannot do anything until it has found a so-called “host” or “hostess”. Once a virus enters a host, the virus will reproduce. Reproducing causes the virus to be contagious. The reproduced virus cells will look for a new host in their neighborhood.
The virus has to hitch a ride somewhere to move. When it comes to spreading the virus, this is where the aerosols are introduced. Although there are several viruses that spread in different ways, the corona virus is a virus that Bouma calls a so-called “kite”. Kites are viruses that travel with the air that is exhaled and specifically through the aerosols – tiny droplets. Aerosols are caused when an infected person talks, sings or coughs.
Different types of drops
Not all drops are the same. There are large drops and tiny drops. We call the latter type aerosols and they can fly. Larger drops do not. They fall to the ground by gravity and only travel a short distance. The 1.5 meter society has been initiated on this assumption. However, aerosols can travel a lot further away and they sometimes circulate in the air for hours.
A natural way of defending
Despite the fact that our body has natural defense systems, the corona virus is very contagious. The virus only becomes really dangerous when it enters the lungs. Before that, it first enters the mouth and nose. Here are defense mechanisms and immune cells. Often the virus is already being made harmless there. If the virus enters the stomach, it will have little chance of causing damage or reproducing.
Why we should watch out for aerosols
As described above, the virus can spread via large and small droplets. If they spread through the small drops, it is more difficult for our body to keep them off than with the large drops, because they pass our natural defense system faster and easier.
Why it is even more careful in winter
The coronavirus spreads most easily in cool, dry air. If the air is humid, the aerosols will deflect to the earth faster than normal and the chance that they will enter someone else’s airways is smaller. Because we heat the houses in winter, the air dries out and this can be a hotbed for corona. It is therefore important to ensure that there is sufficient humidity in the house despite heating the house, for example by placing a bowl of water next to the heater.
Meeting outside limits the spread of the corona virus, but it is also wise to ventilate the house or room well. Professor Bouma compares it to cigarette smoke. If you start smoking a cigarette in a living room and don’t ventilate it properly, the smell can linger for days. However, if you provide good ventilation, the odor will soon disappear, the same applies to the virus.
BBM Clean Air Solutions products
The products of BBM Clean Air Solutions are completely aimed not only at ventilating rooms, but to disinfect the aerosols in the room.
BBM Clean Air Solutions sells UV-C air recirculation systems, where the air is sucked in with aerosols and then guided through the internal UV-C light and then blown back into the room completely (99.99%) clean. We also sell sterilizing devices that sterilize both rooms and objects. With the help of UV-C technology, these devices disinfect rooms and everything in them. Research from the University of Boston has shown that the use of UV-C light kills 99.99% of the germs, including the corona virus (COVID-19), within 25 seconds.
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