Colds, Sniffles, And Indoor Air Quality
Just about everyone I know is either dealing with a cold, just got over a cold, or has someone in their house dealing with a cold.
So, in honor of those of us on AR fighting off colds, the flu, and other nasty airborne problems, consider these facts from the National Institute of Health and from the International Indoor Air Quality Commission:
- In winter, children with persistent cold-like symptoms (PCLS) have up to 3 times higher symptom scores directly related to the mold count in their homes.
- Respiratory infections are the leading cause of physician office visits and loss of time from school.
- There is a significant association between children’s sore throats and maternal smoking at home.
- Hospitalization of children for respiratory illness and incidence of bronchitis or pneumonia increases significantly with increasing cigarette smoking of family members.
- Children’s ear infections require 27 million doctor visits each year. Known clinically as acute otitis, 60% are caused by bacteria.
- The New England Journal of Medicine reports that pests, including dust mites and cockroaches, can increase the severity of asthma in children and lengthen hospitalization times. In addition, continued exposure to these allergens can be fatal.
- The sale of bronchia inhalers have almost tripled since 1979.
- Last winter there were 200 different cold viruses floating around.
- A recent journal article from the Mayo Clinic reports that the cause in the vast majority of the 37 million Americans with sinusitis is a fungus.
- Coughing, sneezing, talking, bed-making, turning pages of books, etc. all generate microbial aerosols which are carried and dispersed by air movements. Inhalation of these particles may cause allergic responses or infectious diseases.
And, in case you were wondering: Most cold infections are acquired at the office.