Sunday, October 1, 2023

Can You Get Pneumonia From Air Conditioning

Preventing Legionnaires Disease Decontamination Deconstructed

Can your air conditioner make you sick? The signs to look out for

Cooling towers rely on watertight maintenance precise, mandatory care to stay ahead of any performance problems. Inefficiency can be dangerous because of the chain reaction it activates. To aid in this proactive approach, environmental health officers now carry out door to door inspections of cooling towers. Predictive maintenance tends to small mechanical and data issues before they become or signal a breakdown. This needs to be coupled with careful cleaning to target any mould or bacteria.

While this keeps the exterior in top shape, the interior is a different story. A chemical cleaner breaks down water clogs and surface scaling. As the foul water funnels out and any debris is collected, the cleaning agents also remove pollen, moss and any growths that could house dangerous microorganisms. Thorough cleaning of drift eliminators, fan housings, pumps, and the towers basin and treating the water is essential.

How You Get A Diagnosis

To find out if you have hypersensitivity pneumonitis, your doctor will want to know about the kinds of dust you may have been in contact with. They’ll ask you questions like:

  • Do you have any pet birds?
  • Do you have a hot tub?
  • Have you been around any water damage, especially from a humidifier, heater, or air conditioner?

Your answers to these questions will also help your doctor figure out the best treatment.

Your doctor will also listen for abnormal sounds in your lungs and will check the oxygen levels in your blood. You may also get tests like:

  • Chest X-ray or CT scan
  • Tests to see how well your lungs are working
  • Lung biopsy

A Few Steps Can Help Ensure That Indoor Air Isn’t Bad For Your Health

On a scorching summer day, air conditioners do more than help you stay comfortable indoors. They help protect against such serious maladies as heatstroke and filter out some pollutants and allergens.

Air conditioners can be especially important for people with lung or heart disease who might struggle to breathe easily when air is hot and humid, says Norman Edelman, M.D., a senior science adviser for the American Lung Association.But without proper care and maintenance, air conditioners also have the potential to cause health problems, especially when mold grows inside them. Here, how to stay cool and healthy when using portable or window air conditioners.

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The Air Quality Is Poor

Are you the type of person who gets sick whenever they travel? Stale air in cars, trains, planes, and even in hotel rooms, can wreak havoc on the body. The lack of ventilation is a breeding ground for bacteria, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As a result, you may experience coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and upper respiratory congestion. Try to spend as much time out of the hotel room, and, if possible, crack the window.

Can Infection With Legionella Germs Be Prevented


As mentioned, the main cause of outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease is from contaminated water sources. In the UK, and in many other countries, there are regulations on how to maintain water supplies and air-conditioning systems used in large buildings. This mainly involves keeping the water temperature at less than 20°C or more than 60°C. The water supply should also be kept clean and kept moving so that it doesn’t stagnate. All of this reduces the chance of legionella bacteria breeding. However, it is very difficult to destroy this bacterium completely. If you are an employer or a landlord, you have a legal duty to ensure all water systems in your premises are properly maintained.

If you have a home humidifier or spa, follow the manufacturer’s advice about maintenance and cleaning.

About 3 in 10 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are contracted abroad, usually due to poorly maintained water storage and air-conditioning systems in hotels. Always mention any recent foreign travel if you are unwell and see your doctor.

At present, there is no vaccine that can protect against legionella bacteria.

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What Is Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.

Bacterial pneumonia may follow a viral infection, like a cold or the flu . This type of pneumonia usually affects one area of the lung and is referred to as lobar pneumonia.

Types of bacteria that cause pneumonia include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B

Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults, called pneumococcal pneumonia.

It may be prevented by a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumonia vaccines for adults 65 years and older: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or Prevnar 13 , and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or Pneumovax 23 .

According to the CDC:

  • You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine first, followed at least one year later by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine .
  • If you’ve already received any doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 dose.
  • If you’ve already received a dose of the PCV13 at a younger age, another dose is not recommended.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae usually infects younger adults who work in crowded areas, such as schools, homeless shelters, or prisons.

Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a mild pneumonia infection that usually affects people older than 60.

Other bacterial pneumonia symptoms include:

  • High fever

What Health Complications Can Pneumonia Lead To

If you have flu-like symptoms that persist or worsen despite treatment, talk to your doctor.

Your doctor can monitor your lungs while you inhale, listening for crackling sounds that are audible only with a stethoscope.

In order to confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific germ causing the illness, you may get a chest X-ray as well as a blood test, depending on your medical history and physical exam, if your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia.

If left untreated, pneumonia can become severe.

People with severe pneumonia experience higher fevers along with GI symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as:

  • Difficulty breathing

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Pneumonia Symptoms And Causes


There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, airborne irritants, and fungi. When these germs enter the lungs, they can overpower the immune system and invade nearby lung tissues, which are very delicate.

Once infected, the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid and pus, which causes coughing, fever, chills, and breathing problems.

Stabilisation Of The Animal:

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  • Hospitalisation may be required in more severe cases and the cat may need to be in intensive care for several days before it is fully stabilised.
  • If the mucous membranes are very bluish, indicating poor oxygen in the blood, the vet may administer oxygen.
  • If the cat is in respiratory distress, oxygen therapy or a nebuliser may be provided.
  • If there are signs of dehydration or shock, or if intake of oral fluids has been prohibited, an intravenous drip may be inserted and IV fluids may be administered.
  • Nutritional support if the cat is not eating, for example, strong smelling food, appetite stimulants or a feeding tube.

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Visiting The Doctor Frequently

Studies have shown that individuals who spend more time in an air-conditioned environment have increased use of health care services. An analysis found an increase in complaints related to ears-nose-and-throat problems, respiratory issues, and dermatological problems.

Solution: Follow all of the other steps above, and take the time to ensure that the facility and air conditioner is clean.

Avoid Quick Temperature Changes

If you have asthma, you might experience respiratory problems if you breathe in very cold air after being out in the heat. Older people often have a hard time with extreme changes in temperature as well, according to the CDC.

Avoid these sudden shifts by decreasing the temperature gradually when you come back inside during the summer, Edelman suggests. And if you suffer from a respiratory condition, try to avoid going directly from very cold air to very hot air.

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How Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Affects Your Body

When you inhale the dust that you are allergic to, you wont notice any problems the first time. Some people develop symptoms after inhaling a lot the dust all at once or after inhaling small amounts over and over again. Tiny air sacs in the lungs can become irritated and may fill with fluid. If you stop inhaling the allergen, the irritation can get better in a few days. If you keep inhaling those allergens, the lung irritation continues. Parts of your lung can develop scar tissue. When your lungs have scar tissue, it may be hard to breathe normally.

Its important to catch this disease early so that you dont have permanent lung damage:

  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis can be a serious problem for people whose lungs become scarred.
  • Scarred lungs can occur if the disease continues, and it is permanent.
  • Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for long-term hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Diseases You Can Get From Your Air Conditioner

Legionnaires Disease

One of the worst colds you can have is during the summer. Why? Because its the time when most of us are out, enjoying the weather, traveling with family, etc. But, the main tool that is used to cool you off, air conditioning, could be making you sick. Heres a few illnesses that it may cause:

Respiratory Infection

As with colds and other respiratory ailments contracted in the wintertime, cold air itself is not the culprit viruses are, said Dr. Ujwala Kaza, an allergist and immunologist at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Still, researchers at Cardiff University in Wales say its possible air-conditioners may contribute in some small way to respiratory infection. They extract moisture from the air, which can dry out the protective mucus that lines the nostrils, allowing viruses a better chance to become established in the nose.

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Common Colds In Office Buildings

Ever wonder why colds seem to never go away at work? There have been multiple studies including one done in 2004, 2008 and 2012 that compared adult women and found that those who worked in offices with central air-conditioning had higher rates of absence due to sickness and more visits to ear, nose and throat doctors than those without it.

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Top 5 Health Problems Associated With Air Conditioning

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TORONTO As much of southern Ontario and Quebec bears through a humidex advisory and Toronto melts under an extreme heat alert, many are looking for relief from the sweltering outdoor temperatures.

Hot and humid air blowing in from the U.S. caused temperatures to soar into the low- to mid-30s on Tuesday and the humidex values in southern Ontario and Montreal will make it feel like the low-40s on Wednesday.

Air conditioners across these provinces are undoubtedly working overtime this week but despite their welcomed relief from the scorching heat, air conditioners may not be the best option for your health when it comes to cooling off.

Global News examined the top five health concerns that surround the use of air conditioners.

1. Illness and constant fatigue

Shivering at your office desk in mid-July? That might be the reason you are so tired. Research shows that people who work in over air-conditioned environments may experience chronic headaches and fatigue. Those who work in buildings which are constantly being pumped full of cool air may also experience constant mucous membrane irritation and breathing difficulties. This leaves you more vulnerable to contracting colds, flus and other illnesses.

2. Dry skin

Long hours spent in air conditioned environments causes your skin to lose moisture if you are not aiding your skin with a constant supply of moisturizers you may begin to suffer from dry skin.

3. Adds to the effects of your chronic illness

The Cleaning Products Are Toxic

While you may do your best to keep toxic cleaning products out of your home, hotels may not have the same standards. Whether or not you have chemical sensitivities, heavily scented cleaning products and air-fresheners can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Dont miss the 11 other dirtiest spots in every hotel room.

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How Do You Get Legionellosis

People become infected when they breathe in air that contains tiny droplets of water known as aerosols, inside of which are the Legionella bacteria. If the bacteria get inhaled into the lungs they can cause infection.

Legionellosis cannot be got from water you drink that enters your stomach in the normal way the bacterium has to get into the lungs through breathing it in. The illness is not spread from person to person.

Air Conditioning Cold And Cigarette Smoke

What to eat & what to avoid to combat Pneumonia

Pathophysiological aspects in which repeated exposure to cold stimuli determines anatomical and functional alterations of the respiratory tract have been also discussed in the literature . Cold air, that is temporarily inhaled, induces excessive secretions of airway mucus and elicits ciliary ultrastructural anomalies. The only exposure to cold stimuli, can defect, turn on the cold-mediated activation of the TRPM8 channel and determine mucus hypersecretion with excessive MUC5AC secretion, and obstacle mucociliary clearance through numerical and structural anomalies of the ciliary apparatus. The inhalation of cold air, however, can only activate the TRPM8 receptor, but cannot determine the baseline overexpression of this receptor in patients with COPD. Probably cigarette smoke, that is also the main risk factor for COPD, is the etiological factor for the elevated expression of the TRPM8 channel in these patients, and so they are predisposed and hypersensitive to cold stimulus, even as air conditioning . The synergistic effect between smoking and exposure to cold air was also observed in other studies, evaluating changes in impedance in the respiratory tract after exposure to cold in young smokers and nonsmokers: a broncho-constricting effect extending largely into the small peripheral airways can be demonstrated by impedance measurement in a group of asymptomatic young smokers which is not observed in normal subjects after cold-air challenge .

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Why The Name Legionnaires Disease

The bacterium responsible for Legionnaires’ disease was identified in 1976, after a large outbreak at a hotel in Philadelphia, USA. The disease got its name from the group of people affected in this outbreak. They were retired American service personnel who were attending a legion convention. Since the outbreak in 1976, cases and outbreaks have been reported from all countries in Europe, many of them linked to hotels and other types of holiday accommodation.

Breathing Cold Air Can Worsen Respiratory Issues

For most people, dry skin and dry airways are easily solved with moisturizer and some hot tea or throat lozenges. Its not this easy for everyone, especially those who have asthma, cold-induced asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other recurrent respiratory issues like bronchitis, pneumonia or sinusitis. Without taking the proper precautions, people with respiratory issues can end up sidelinedand even hospitalizedby coughing, wheezing or shallow breathing.

Dry air can aggravate respiratory conditions so, if you have one or have a history of sickness or hospitalization, its important to take extra precautions, says Dr. Pitman. This means:

Another tip? Dont turn your thermostat up too high. During winter, were constantly alternating between the warmth of our homes or offices and the cold weather outside. This is a shock to our bodies, and can deplete it of moisture, says Dr. Pitman. If the temperature inside is under your control, keep it at a moderate level so that your bodyand lungsarent constantly adjusting to opposite temperatures.

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Causes Of Pneumonia In Cats

A variety of bacterial, viral, and fungal organisms can cause pneumonia in cats, although the most common cause is primary viral infection of the lower respiratory tract. There are a number of risk factors that may increase the likelihood of a cat developing pneumonia.

Pneumonia may be complicated and exacerbated by multiple factors that cause or contribute to the disease. For example, a virus or fungus can damage the respiratory tract to the extent that a secondary bacterial infection can occur.

What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better

Can You Get Sick from Air Conditioning?

In addition to taking any antibiotics and/or medicine your doctor prescribes, you should also:

  • Get lots of rest. Rest will help your body fight the infection.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will keep you hydrated. They can help loosen the mucus in your lungs. Try water, warm tea, and clear soups.
  • Stop smoking if you smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future. You should also avoid lit fireplaces or other areas where the air may not be clean.
  • Stay home from school or work until your symptoms go away. This usually means waiting until your fever breaks and you arent coughing up mucus. Ask your doctor when its okay for you to return to school or work.
  • Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a warm bath. This will help clear your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.

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Viral Pneumonia In Cats Causes And Contributing Factors

  • Upper respiratory infections are common in cats, particularly very young, elderly and stressed cats in crowded environments , and these infections can progress into pneumonia.
  • Feline calicivirus, feline infectious peritonitis virus and herpesvirus are common viral causes of pneumonia in cats.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline leukaemia virus both lead to a weakened immune system, which can increase the likelihood of developing pneumonia from bacteria, fungi or aspiration.

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