AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

Glossary of Terms for COVID-19 Outbreak

6 minute read

A slew of terms has been introduced in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. Let’s go from A to Z with new people and terms to help you understand the unfolding situation.

COVID-19 Glossary

Adams

  • Jerome Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner before being sworn in as the Surgeon General in 2017. His role is to advance the health of the American people and he has been instrumental in COVID-19 response.

Bans

  • The United States has issued a travel ban from Europe to the United States as of March 16th and most companies have grounded all non-essential travel domestically and internationally for the next several weeks.

COVID-19

  • COVID-19 or coronavirus is a virus in the same family as the common cold and flu. It has turned into a pandemic and has been compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu. The 19 is in reference to the year it was discovered

Diamond Princess

  • The Diamond Princess Cruise ship was for COVID-19. Passengers were quarantined on the ship and left to their rooms and many health officials have criticized the decision saying that it allowed the virus to rapidly spread. Passengers and crew were eventually allowed to leave the ship after a month total on board and nearly two weeks after reports of the first case.

Epidemiology

  • Epidemiology is the study of infectious diseases and how they spread, occur, and are controlled.

Flattening the Curve

  • The term refers to reducing the exponential growth of an infectious disease if people start distancing themselves from other people. Reducing gatherings with people through quarantining and other social distancing practices can drastically reduce the number of cases. The practice is especially important in alleviating the burden on hospitals.

Source: Britta Jewel/MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis/New York Times

Gatherings

  • Late Sunday on March 15th, multiple governors and health officials called for social gatherings to be limited to 50 people or less. President Trump has asked for people to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people to continue to reduce the spread of the disease. This practice has led to the closing of bars, restaurants, and retail stores across the country.

Handwashing

  • Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. All health organizations have advocated for everyone to wash their hands often to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here are some fun

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Immunocompromised

  • A group of people, young and old, who have weakened immune systems due to underlying conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Down Syndrome, or heart disease A person with an immunocompromised system who contracts coronavirus may result in hospitalization. Those who are not immunocompromised may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or experience mild symptoms.

January

  • On January 17th, the CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol started health screenings at all S. airports for passengers returning from Wuhan City, China. On January 23rd, the United States reported the first case of coronavirus.

Killing the virus

Leisure time

  • Find ways to relax during the COVID-19 outbreak and to take a break from social media and the news. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. The CDC has several recommendations to manage stress and anxiety.

Mike DeWine

  • The Governor of Ohio, Republican Mike Dewine, was one of the first governors to initiate school closures, public gathering bans, and the closing of restaurants and bars. He recently decided to postpone the Ohio Democratic primary election as a result of COVID-19.

Novel

  • According to the World Health Organization, the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to MERS and SARS. COVID-19 is a novel, or new, viruses in the coronavirus family. It was not previously identified in humans until November 2019.

One percent

  • One percent is considered to be the mortality rate for the coronavirus, according to many science and public health officials. The percentage has ticked higher in places where hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick patients who are unable to get the care they need. Current mortality rates in the US are hovering at 0.5 percent.

Pandemic

  • An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that attacks many peoples at the same time in one area. A pandemic is a disease that spreads across many countries and affects a large number of people. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization.

Quarantine

  • Quarantine refers to the restriction of movement for people. Currently, the United States is asking people to self-quarantine to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Other countries such as Italy and China have established national quarantines to slow the rate of infection. In isolation, healthy people are separate from the sick but with COVID-19 it’s hard to know who is and is not a carrier.

Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

The United States enacted $8.5B in aid to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 titled the Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. President Trump initially asked for $2.5B. The bill includes money for research, public health funding, medical supplies and to help fight the disease internationally. The bill was enacted on March 6th by President Trump. Senators and other members of Congress have asked for another round of efforts of economic relief for small businesses, middle and low-income families, and the travel industry.

Social Distancing

  • Social Distancing refers to maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people, in addition to minimizing contact, public transportation, and other large gatherings. The strategy has been used to help save lives during other pandemics. You can still go outside, but you must avoid close contact with people even if they appear to be healthy. A person can still be a carrier even if they are asymptomatic.

Toilet Paper

  • Toilet paper became one of the first products to fly off the shelves. Many people on social media have spread pictures of empty aisles in Target, Kroger, and other major department store chains. Despite the empty aisles, producers say they have plenty of food and supplies in stock.

U.S. Public Health Service

  • The U.S. Public Health Service is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and is the largest public health program in the globe helping staff the local health departments throughout the country. The coronavirus is being monitored by the public health service at both the local and federal levels. Check with your community’s public health department to see what restrictions are being implemented.

Virulence

  • Virulence refers to the severity of the harmfulness of a disease. Many epidemiologists are still trying to quantify the virulence of COVID-19. To keep up with the current outbreak, the World Health Organization has an interactive map to track cases worldwide.

Work from home

– Working from home has become the new reality for millions of workers across the country as many offices have shut down and school closings have kept many parents home. It’s unclear how long offices will remain closed as health and government officials determine the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, but working from home might be the new normal for many workers.

(e)Xtra time

– One of the benefits of being home and quarantined is spending more time with your family and loved ones. Most of the time, we are bustling from school to work to other activities, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed many of us to spend more quality time with our families.

Yellow fever

  • Yellow fever is an infectious disease spread by mosquitos was catalyzed by trade as infected patients traversed between Europe, America, and Africa. Many doctors initially hypothesized that you had to come in contact with an infected patient as widespread epidemics occurred in major port cities in the United States such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans. Many more Americans who fought in the Spanish-American war died of Yellow fever as opposed to combat. A vaccine was developed in the 1940s, but there are still cases of yellow fever throughout Africa and Central America resulting in approximately 30,000-60,000 deaths annually. Pandemics such as yellow fever have created the modern medical system we know now and spurred the creation of the National Quarantine Act in 1878. COVID-19 does not have a vaccine and while it should not take hundreds of years to create, it is expected to be another year or so, although preliminary testings have started.

Zoonotic

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AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air | Wellness |

Airborne Viruses and Healthy Air

3 minute read

At Aprilaire we believe healthy air is essential – especially in your home. The coronavirus pandemic has brought indoor air quality to the forefront as you and your family are spending far more time in your home.

Healthy air is all we do at Aprilaire, and as the industry leader we want to take this opportunity to share information with you on how to create healthy air in your home. More than ever we feel a responsibility to spread the word on the importance of healthy air in the home, the science behind how a home’s air system works, and proven, best-practice healthy air solutions.

Unfortunately we do not have cure for the coronavirus, but Aprilaire does offer solutions to help prevent the proliferation of airborne viruses and other air quality issues in your home

We support the findings and recommendation of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) that the most effective way to prevent proliferation of airborne viruses is by installing a whole home Healthy Air System containing 3 essential elements: Air Filtration, Humidity Control and Fresh Air Ventilation.

These components are designed to work with your heating and air conditioning equipment to create a healthy air environment in your home by introducing healthy, fresh air into your home, maintaining a level of humidity that helps prevent the proliferation of viruses, and helping to remove airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses.

Air Filtration

Proper filtration of both the air in your home and incoming ventilation air is key to removing particulates from the air.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)the coronavirus nominally has a particle size of 0.13 microns and most airborne viruses range from 0.03 to 0.3 microns.

Aprilaire MERV 16 Allergy & Asthma Filters provide the highest rate of effectiveness. They can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses.

Our whole-home Aprilaire 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner is an effective product to capture airborne viruses. It is up to 90%* efficient at trapping airborne virus-size particles.

Healthy Humidity Solutions

Proper Humidity reduces the transmission of viruses. ASHRAE promotes keeping humidity between 30-60% to minimize virus survival rates.

Aprilaire provides humidifier products such as the 600, 700, and 800 and the 1850 dehumidifier to help keep the home between this optimal range.

Fresh Air Ventilation

Having a properly functioning whole-home ventilation system is critical to maintaining a healthy home environment. Fresh air is not only clean and refreshing but ventilation also helps dilute and remove contaminants.

Homeowners should use a ventilation system to bring in fresh air from the outside to dilute stagnant indoor air. The air inside the home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. Products such as the Aprilaire Model 8126X Ventilation System or Model 8140 Fresh Air Ventilator bring in the recommended amount of fresh air. They also have patented control logic to minimize energy usage. Coupling these systems with our IAQ thermostats allows homeowners to easily adjust the amount of fresh air being brought (into) your home.

Whole-Home Product Control

The Aprilaire whole-home products work with our IAQ thermostats to provide easy user experience and control through the thermostat and Aprilaire app.

Professional

Help combat airborne viruses and particulates in the home with Aprilaire Products. Our products are not only manufactured in the United States, but our engineers and manufacturers maintain the highest standards in design and assembly.

Aprilaire products are professionally installed and serviced by Healthy Air Partners. To help find the perfect Healthy Air product for your home, go to our Find A Pro page to locate a dealer in your area.

Please note:

Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home.

*Contaminates removed based on air passing through the filtering system.

 

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

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AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Back To Work? 5 Ways to Promote A Healthy Office Environment

3 minute read

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the United States, every area of the country is grappling with the decision to “reopen” parts of society. One area of consideration is office life. While some companies have announced prolonged work-from-home policies, (July 2021 for Google employees), others are already back to normal or are planning to resume in-office activity in the fall.

What does that mean for employees who are concerned about returning to that environment in the midst of a pandemic?

It is largely the responsibility of your employer to create and maintain a safe work environment. And if you feel uncomfortable being in the office, it’s worth talking with your boss or co-workers about continuing to work from home.

If you are set to return to the office soon, here are some ways you can find safety and peace of mind by focusing on your health and the health of your environment.

5 Tips For A Healthy Office

1. Stay Home When You Need To

The mentality of toughing it out when you aren’t feeling well needs to be rewired. If you are at all concerned that you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, the safest thing you can do is not go to work.

This is the compassionate and responsible thing to do for yourself, your co-workers, and your family.

2. Keep Your Distance

Avoid congregating in common areas, break rooms, cafeterias, etc. While it may be a hard habit to break, it’s necessary to maintain as much distance between you and your coworkers as possible to keep everyone healthy.

3. Wear A Mask

Social distancing doesn’t negate the need for masks in the same way masks don’t negate the need for social distancing. Unless you work in a private office with your own entrance, you should be wearing a mask while working in any kind of shared air space.

4. Sanitize

Keep hand sanitizer on your desk and use it often. Any time you have to touch something that someone else has used, you should be washing or sanitizing your hands.

5. Don’t Touch

Find ways to open doors, push buttons, flip switches, etc. that don’t involve using your hands. If your workplace doesn’t have automatic faucets for example, consider using a paper towel to turn the faucet on and off, limiting your direct exposure to the germs living there.

Office Air Purifier

For another safety measure, consider a portable room air purifier for your office. The included filter in this Aprilaire Air Purifier removes dust, pollen, mold spores, germs and other pollutants that are 0.3 microns and larger.

Of course, you’ll have to leave your office from time to time, so be aware of the condition of the hallways, meeting rooms, and lounge spaces. Consider bringing up the topic of air filtration at your office if there aren’t currently any measures in place to address air quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a safety checklist for employers who are welcoming employees back to the office.

As part of  Aprilaire’s Healthy Air System™, a whole-home air filtration unit can help you breathe a little easier when you come home from work, too.

This is an important piece of the multi-pronged approach that includes increased fresh air ventilation, humidity control, and air filtration to help reduce the proliferation of airborne viruses and other contaminants.

Let’s Clear the Air
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Please note:
Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home and office.