Raising your defences against airborne threats

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  Posted by: The Probe      14th April 2021

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that this is a virus that we shouldn’t underestimate. In recent months, the virus has mutated and a number of new variants are now in the UK.

Although this is typical virus behaviour, some of these new variants have been identified as being far more transmissible than the original virus. The UK (or Kent), Brazil and South Africa strains, in particular, are thought to have a much higher transmission rate, with some sources stating that they are 70% more infectious.[i]

At the time of writing, a new variant has just been discovered in the UK – B.1.525.[ii] Although more research needs to be done into the nature of this novel strain, it perfectly illustrates that the virus is continuing to evolve and adapt, remaining a threat that professionals need to defend against in every way possible.

Defence against a persistent enemy

As we learn more about COVID-19 and its variants, it becomes clear that more needs to be done to defend against the virus and the higher level of infectiousness exhibited by the new variants. Although the vaccine programme is progressing admirably, the rate of infections in the UK still peaked in early 2021, with thousands of new cases a day demonstrating exactly how infectious these new variants are.

This helped to fuel understanding that airborne transmission of the virus is of primary concern. Indeed, at the time of writing, it is being suggested that people should “double-mask” to protect themselves against these new strains.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that individuals should wear a disposable surgical mask underneath a cloth mask, as this way the majority of virus particles in the air will be unable to penetrate this defence.[iii] In fact, this extra level of protection is thought to reduce the wearer’s exposure to virus-sized particles by upwards of 90%, meaning that it could make a significant difference.[iv]

However, as much as double masking may have a positive impact, for ultimate peace of mind, professionals need to understand airborne transmission and how they can further protect people inside their practices during this time.

Why airborne transmission is a concern

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was thought that airborne transmission played a relatively small part in how the virus spread. However, it soon became clear that the virus could thrive in aerosol produced by coughing, sneezing, shouting and singing, as well as dental procedures. This meant that certain treatments that generated aerosol required a fallow period to be introduced between patients to allow any airborne virus droplets to settle.

Unfortunately, as more research[v] into the virus has been performed, it seems that coronavirus is perfectly capable of surviving in the air for extended periods of time, and is even able to travel over distances of six feet. This research also concluded that airborne transmission of COVID-19 could take place more under certain circumstances: for example, in enclosed spaces or within those featuring inadequate ventilation systems.

By nature, dental practices are often enclosed spaces that may not have windows and open spaces to allow for proper ventilation. So what can you do to help protect your patients and staff from airborne threats?

Clean air, better care

One way to ensure that the air in your dental practice is safe for staff and patients alike is to invest in a system that filters the air and that can effectively destroy viruses and other pathogens.

Novaerus Air Disinfection systems from Eschmann are backed by scientific evidence and have been independently test to reduce MS2 Bacteriophage, a commonly used surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by 99.99%. These units use patented NanoStrike plasma technology that safely kills all airborne microorganisms on contact, providing first line defence against viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, as these units don’t create any harmful by-products, they are safe for continual 24/7 use, around even the most vulnerable individuals.

Novaerus Air Disinfection systems can also be free standing or wall-mounted, meaning that you can use them in any area of your practice with confidence.

Change your defences to tackle an evolving virus

We cannot predict how COVID-19 will continue to evolve, but that doesn’t mean professionals can’t effectively defend against it. By investing in an air disinfection system scientifically proven to kill and deactivate all airborne microorganisms, you can ensure that individuals in your practice have peace of mind and remain safe against the new variants of coronavirus, as well as all other airborne threats.

 

For more information on the highly effective and affordable range of infection control products from Eschmann, please visit www.eschmann.co.uk or call 01903 875787

 

[i] BBC News. Covid Variants: What Are They And Will The Vaccines Work? Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55659820 [Last accessed February 21].

[ii] BBC news. Another New Coronavirus Variant Seen In The UK. Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56082573 [Last accessed February 21].

[iii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Improve How Your Mask Protects You. Link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/effective-masks.html [Last accessed February 21].

[iv] Sky News. COVID-19: Why Double-Masking Could Be The Way Forward In Reducing Spread Of The Virus. Link: https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-why-double-masking-could-be-the-way-forward-in-reducing-spread-of-the-virus-12215181 [Last accessed February 21].

[v] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientific Brief: SARS-COV-2 and Poential Airborne Transmission. Link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html [Last accessed February 21].


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