Airborne Diseases May Really Harm You- Be Cautious!
Airborne diseases mostly forms the part of communicable diseases. With the minute particles suspended all over, we are not able to get the fresh air these days. This makes you prone to air borne diseases. Just go out in the afternoon and witness the roads full of traffic and the dust all over coming to your face.
There are various types of airborne diseases including contagious airborne diseases getting transmitted through droplet transmission and airborne pathogens.
You cannot see but the air you are breathing is not the pure and fresh air. And, you will often notice people coughing and sneezing due to dust. You may also know that many people are allergic to dust and particulate matter and thus, they easily becomes the victim of airborne diseases
Severe diseases are caused due to the unclean air we breathe in. And, sometimes, these diseases can be fatal. Let us learn more. Find a cozy couch and sit back. Read with us!
What is airborne disease ?
An airborne Disease can be any disease born from air or getting transmitted through air by various pathogens, droplets and other harmful particles dissolved in the air. Simply, in Lehman’s language, we can say that the diseases which are spread through air or are borne through air are called airborne diseases. When droplets of the foreign entities enter our body through the process of breathing, which is through the air we breathe, they disturb our basic body metabolism. Our body is not able to function properly and carry out day to day activities and we fall sick due to these airborne diseases.
The pathogens which are likely to invade us through air are viruses, bacteria or fungi. They enter in our body through the droplets of cough or sneeze when we inhale. Spraying of certain liquids and dust particles also irritate the nasal passage, due to which many allergies develop. Anthrax (inhalational), Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Chickenpox, Influenza are some most common airborne diseases.
Airborne Disease Definition
An Airborne Disease can be defined as any disease caused by pathogens like viruses, fungi or bacteria being transmitted through air while breathing, talking, sneezing, coughing, spraying or doing any such activity resulting in generation of droplets or aerosol particles.
Air borne diseases cannot be simply blamed upon the air pollution. But, there are some more causes we need to study deeper about.
Causes of AirBorne Diseases
What are the possible causes of air borne diseases? Well, there are several air borne diseases and each disease has its own specific causes.
On common grounds, if we talk about the causes, then the air borne diseases are caused by exposure to some source of infection. This source can be an infected patient or an animal.
The droplets of infection can be transferred from the infected person or the mouth of the animal. Any cut or needle puncture can also aid in the process of spreading these airborne diseases. The pathogens need a passage for facilitating the entry, and the nose, mouth, cut and needle puncture serve the purpose.
So, Whenever the pathogenic microbes are discharged from an infected individual while coughing, talking, sneezing, laughing or spraying etc. and stay suspended on the dust particles present in the air.
So, the best known and common causes of Airborne diseases are:
- Pathogens Transmitted through Airborne Transmission. These airborne transmission from one person to another may take place while coughing, sneezing, close personal contact or even through aerosolization of such microbes or pathogens.
Different Types of AirBorne Diseases
Airborne diseases are classified further on the basis of the type of pathogens. As we have earlier mentioned that air borne diseases can be caused by three kinds of pathogens- the bacteria, fungi and virus, thus, airborne diseases are of three types:
Airborne Bacterial Diseases
The causal organisms are bacteria. Some common bacterial airborne diseases are given below:
- Whooping cough: This is caused by Bordetella pertussis, which is a gram negative bacterium. It is aerobic in nature and spherical in shape. You can prevent this bacterial airborne disease through vaccination provided in the childhood such as DTaP, and in adulthood such as Tdap. When you observe the symptoms, take help of the antibiotics.
- Meningitis: This is caused by the gram negative bacteria, Neisserua meningitides. This is also spherical in shape. This disease is transmitted when people kiss or exchange the saliva with the infected person. Also, the inhalation of the infected air also causes this airborne bacterial disease.
- Diphtheria: This is caused by Gram positive bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheria.
- Pneumonia: This disease is well known among masses. It is the condition of the inflammation of the lungs. The causal bacteria are Streptococcus pneumoniae causing
- Tuberculosis: People know it very well through its abbreviation TB. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The lungs are the targeted body organs by this airborne disease. Numerous antibiotics are given to the patient to deal with the symptoms. And, to prevent it, BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin) vaccine is given.
Airborne viral diseases
The main cause of airborne viral diseases are the various types of virus freely scattered and moving in the environmental air. The most common airborne diseases are:
- Chickenpox: The causal virus belongs to the herpes virus category. To be exact, Varicella zoster virus is the organism responsible for this dreadful disease. This disease is spread through inhaling the infected droplets resulting from coughing or sneezing by an infected person.
- Influenza: This disease is caused by the influenza viruses. Infection is transmitted from the infected person or through the bird poop or droppings. This virus is fatal for both humans and animals.
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): This airborne disease is spread through the SARS corona virus. When you know who the infected person is, you can save yourself from catching this airborne infection.
Influenza, common cold, SARS are few examples of airborne diseases caused by viruses.
Airborne fungal diseases
- Aspergillosis: This airborne disease is caused by the fungus Aspergillus. You can catch the infection whether you remain inside your home or outside. Also, your body’s immune system plays the key role in making you prone to this disease. Do you have a weak immune system? Make it strong today itself! The lungs are the targeted organs and various allergies develop.
- Cryptococcosis: The fungal spores infect the lungs and the central nervous system is influenced as well.
So, in the paragraphs above the most common types of airborne disease are explained with best examples of airborne diseases. Now, in the following paragraph, you will come to know about the symptoms of airborne diseases.
AirBorne Diseases Symptoms
As we discussed above that there are three kinds of air borne diseases, the symptoms of airborne diseases vary with the specific kind. Different symptoms are exhibited by the infected people who have different diseases.
If we talk in general, then the following symptoms will give you the signal that yes, you are having an air borne disease. The most common Symptoms of airborne Disease are:
- Cold and cough like symptoms are prevalent
- Flu like symptoms are very common
- Feeling of being ill
- You may also have some rashes or bumps near or on nose
- Bleeding spots on skin
- Inflammation issues
- Heavy sweating
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
- Wheezing and breathing problems
- Sore throat
- Redness of eyes
- Runny nose
- White spots inside the mouth
Just go to your healthcare specialist, and consult with him/her your health issues. Get medical advice immediately. Do not wait for the severe symptoms to take control of you. They will tell you the corresponding airborne disease and will prescribe you the medication. Take precautions and stay healthy against all airborne diseases.
AirBorne Diseases Prevention
When you take precautions, you are guarding yourself and winning 75% of the battle against the air borne diseases.
Prevention is better than cure. So, what all precautions you should take to keep yourself off from the air borne diseases? The basic concept is all about controlling the transmission.
- Make use of special equipments such as masks and respirators.
- Air borne infection isolation rooms should be there.
- Patients contact with the non infected persons should be taken care of. Patient should wear a face mask when around many people.
- Hand hygiene is very important. Make sure you wash your hands properly and carefully with soap and water. Pay extra attention to hand washing process when you have used the restroom.
- The environment should be clean. Plant trees around your residence to provide you with the pure air. Promote plantation of trees.
- Clean the surfaces such as mirrors, door handles, railings, lift cabin and other places where the chances of contacting and getting infection through air are more, because such locations are frequently touched surfaces.
- Handling of the laundry of the infected person should be taken care of. Make sure it doesn’t get mixed with the other clothes otherwise you may fall ill due to airborne diseases.
- Handle things in a manner where the chances of transmission are the least. This doesn’t mean that you have to isolate the patient and make him feel lonely and unwanted. Care and show warmth of love!
- Always cover the mouth while coughing, sneezing or yawning.
- Use tissues and dispose them correctly otherwise you are equally responsible for spreading airborne diseases.
Let us see how much you can take care of yourself and the infected patient.
Names Of Air Borne Diseases
The list of airborne diseases are as follows:
- Cold and flu
- Lassa fever
- Small pox
- Cow pox
- Monkey pox
- Whooping cough
- Pontiac fever
- Pneumonic plague
- Scarlet fever
Actually, the list of air borne diseases is very long. I cannot mention them all at once as it is beyond the scope of this article. Search the air borne disease world on internet and find the relevant information you need based on their categories. One more thing which you need to understand is the difference between communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. You must take a look on the picture below to differentiate between communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Treatment for Air Borne Diseases
When you are already dealing with an air borne disease, the treatment can only rescue you. For the proper treatment, you have to rush to your doctor and consult him regarding your symptoms and respiratory issues. Prescribed medicines are always the best treatment given by the doctors. You need to take care of the point that some diseases have the pathogens so stubborn that they won’t allow the drugs to kill them up easily. Hence, in such a case, it may become difficult to deal with the disease. But, patients must do what the doctor says and follow the prescription for the days, so that the drugs become slowly effective upon the invaders.
Preventive therapies are used for people who belong to the high risk groups, such as HIV infected and those who have had TB infections previously. Before you move further to any other page, you must read about the communicable diseases, their causes, prevention and treatments.
Air Borne Diseases caused by droplets
Airborne Diseases: Frequently asked questions
What is an airborne pathogen?
Answer: Airborne pathogens are the small microbes which are also responsible for causing airborne diseases from an infected person to a healthy person through coughing, laughing, sneezing, aerosolization of microbes or via close personal contact. These, air borne pathogens when discharged from infected persons, remain suspended in the environment or generally in air as they settle themselves on dust particles, water and respiratory droplets.
How do diseases spread by airborne transmission?
Answer: Whenever the diseases are spread or transmitted in the form of microbes, viruses or pathogens through air or by making air as a medium then these diseases are known as airborne diseases. Generally, air borne diseases spread when microbes aerosolized and travels in air through dust particles, respiratory or water droplets. Transmission from one person to another can be through sneezing, coughing, talking, laughing, kissing or even by making close physical contacts with an infected person.
What are some examples of airborne diseases?
Answer: The most common examples of airborne diseases are Anthrax (inhalational), Influenza, Measles, Cryptococcusis, Smallpox, Chickenpox, Tuberculosis etc.
Can Bacterial infections be airborne?
Answer: Viruses and bacteria are capable of generating microbial aerosols transmitted through coughing, talking, kissing, sneezing, bed making etc. These microbes get mobilize by air and are dispersed throughout on water and respiratory droplets, dust particles present in the air and finally get transmitted to a healthy person and thus makes him/her sick.
What are the symptoms of air borne diseases?
Answer: The signs and symptoms of air borne diseases are:
Itching in eyes
Mucus in the nasal passages etc.
How contact diseases are transmitted?
Answer: Contact diseases are those diseases which are transmitted by direct physical contact of a healthy person with an infected person. Contact diseases are transmitted through kissing, sexual intercourse, touching, contact with oral secretions of an infected person or contact with body wounds. Indirect contact includes sneezing, coughing, talking, laughing etc.
What is an air borne bacteria?
Answer: Air borne bacteria are generally biological airborne contaminants or microbes present in the air in the form of aerosols. These microbial aerosols are known as bio-aerosols which can be either bacteria, viruses or even fungi.