When most people think of catching the flu from aerosol particles, they imagine something flying through the air after someone coughs without covering their mouth. While such particles do transmit the flu, the problem is a lot worse. Even the simple act of breathing, talking or clearing your throat will send aerosols too small to see into the air. The problem is not just when someone coughs!
It looks like part of the issue is how much virus we are exposed to. If we have a very low amount of virus infect us, the body has a longer period of time to build defenses before the infection is very severe.
We have designed and are ready to start making a very simple device to reduce the spread of larger droplets and aerosols. Keeping larger droplets confined within the box will give them time to settle out.
This ultra-low cost, low-weight pop-up plastic chamber is placed over the head of a patient when in bed. The box includes push-ins that can hold a drape or bed sheet. The idea is not to make a completely hermetic seal, but rather to allow the patient to be partially isolated from those around them without being alone. The idea is to reduce the amount of virus present in the air outside the box. It should also help to reduce viral cross-contamination between patients. This device might be used in clinical settings- but also in homes to help reduce the likelihood that family members become ill.
The design includes an access port for a suction hose, alternately, a small fan with filter can be used to pull contaminated air through a filter at the source of the aerosols to reduce environmental contamination.
In scientific words: "The initial dose of virus and the amount of virus an individual has at any one time might worsen the severity of COVID 19 disease. Viral load is a measure of the number of viral particles present in an individual. Higher SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. might worsen outcomes, and data from China suggests the viral load is higher in patients with more severe disease. The amount of virus exposure at the start of infection – the infectious dose – may increase the severity of the illness and is also linked to a higher viral load."