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How to Protect from Flu or Fever?

How to protect oneself from Flu

In the winter, the flu often rages. How to prevent flu scientifically? Can anti-fog masks protect against the flu virus? Influenza is generally caused by a virus. Let's take a look at what a virus is. Can wearing a mask filter out the flu virus? In addition, moderate humidity air can help to resist the spread of influenza. One is to help the virus to settle, and the other is to enhance the activity of respiratory mucosal secretions.

In the winter, the flu often rages. How to prevent flu scientifically? Can anti-fog masks protect against the flu virus? What measures can help us prevent influenza This article will take you to reveal these issues.

What is a virus? Can it be filtered out by anti-fog masks?

Influenza is generally caused by a virus. Let's take a look at what a virus is.
A virus is a non-cellular form composed of a nucleic acid molecule (DNA or RNA) and a protein. It is an organic species that lives between parasitic organisms and lives between parasites.

It is neither biological nor abiotic, and it is not currently classified in the Five Realms (prokaryotes, protozoa, fungi, plants, and animals).

When it comes to preventing colds, the first thing everyone thinks about is wearing a mask. Can wearing a mask filter out the flu virus? We are going to look at the size of the flu virus.

Viruses vary in shape and size (collectively referred to as morphology), and most viruses are 10-300 nanometers (nm) in diameter.

Some filamentous viruses can reach a length of 1400 nm, but their width is only about 80 nm.

Most viruses cannot be observed under a light microscope, and scanning or transmission electron microscopy is the main tool for observing the morphology of virus particles.

A concept is mentioned here called nm (nanometer). So how long are nanometers? 1 nanometer = 10 ^ -9 meters, which is one billionth of a meter.

How thick is a hair? Ordinary hair is between 60 microns and 90 microns. How long is a micron? 1 micron = 10 ^ -6 meters, which is one millionth of a meter.

In other words, ordinary hair is as thick as 60,000 to 90,000 nanometers. So what is the size of PM2.5 we often say?

It is 2.5 microns. Even if we choose the larger 300 nanometer (0.3 micron) size of the virus, it is an order of magnitude larger than the size of particles that can be filtered out by a mask.
Types of Flu or Fever Viruses
Types of Flu or Fever Viruses

So aren't smog masks able to help us fight the flu virus?

This is not the case. Here we have to mention a physical concept called aerosol.

What is aerosol? It is a dispersion system in which solids or liquids are suspended in air. The volume of particulate matter is generally between 0.01 micrometers and 10 micrometers.

The experiment of the Tyndall effect that everyone has done in middle school is the scattering of light through aerosols.

When you walk on the forest path, you think the air you breathe is good, but it may not be. Because you exhale a lot of suspended particles or droplets in the aerosol.

In fact, there are devices in our house that generate aerosols, which are traditionally humidifiers that work by ultrasonic vibration. 
The humidifier shakes the water into small droplets to increase the surface area of ​​the water, which makes the air more humid.

So what does the spread of influenza virus have to do with aerosols? The influenza virus is too small. Due to the intermolecular forces, the influenza virus attaches to the particulate matter of the aerosol in the air.

In this way, the problem of filtering viruses has become a problem of filtering aerosol particles. For anti-haze masks, most aerosol particles can be filtered out, so anti-haze masks can help prevent flu.

Wearing a mask all the time is uncomfortable, is there any other way to prevent the flu?

In fact, we can observe that if there is no precipitation for a long time in the winter in the north, the transmission of influenza will be more serious. There are two reasons for this.

First, in humid air, virus molecules are more likely to bind to larger particles or droplets, which is not conducive to the spread of the virus.

Second, in a humid environment, the secretions on the human respiratory tract mucosa are more active and can better kill and resist virus invasion.

Some people have done experiments like this, mixing influenza viruses with droplets that mimic respiratory secretions and putting them in different humidity environments.

In a dry environment, respiratory droplets evaporate quickly and the virus survives intact.

In a medium-humidity environment, the droplets partially evaporate, and the virus's ability to infect normal cells in droplets with a higher concentration is significantly reduced.

Therefore, air humidity can affect the body fluid components in the respiratory tract, that is, the concentration of salt and protein, thereby affecting the survival rate of cold viruses.
Protection from Flu or Fever Viruses

In summary, wearing anti-haze masks can protect against some influenza viruses, because most influenza viruses attach to aerosol particles that are larger than themselves.

In addition, moderate humidity air can help to resist the spread of influenza. One is to help the virus to settle, and the other is to enhance the activity of respiratory mucosal secretions.
Author's Bio

Doctor Shawna Reason, Virologist
Dr. Shawna Reason
Name: Shawna Reason

Education: MBBS, MD

Occupation: Medical Doctor / Virologist 

Specialization: Medical Science, Micro Biology / Virology, Natural Treatment

Experience: 15 Years as a Medical Practitioner

About Me | Linkedin | Quora Profile | Medium Profile | Twitter

Tip: The most reliable way to prevent influenza is to go to the hospital to get the flu vaccine.


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