Ebola Virus and HVAC Systems
With news of a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa, and fears that it has already spread to some areas of the United States, it would be prudent to warn anyone who may be concerned about their indoor air quality that there is currently no product that the HVAC industry offers that will reduce the spread of Ebola.
There are many excellent air filtration systems available, such as HEPA filtration units and Ultra Violet (UV) systems that kill mold, bacteria and odors, but they just have not yet made such a system that could kill off any disease that is transmitted by bodily fluids or by human contact.
A veteran’s administration hospital in Puerto Rico is ordering the emergency installation of multi hepa filters in the ward’s return air HVAC ducting to create an emergency Ebola quarantine ward.
This situation is considered an emergency and prompt attention is required. Delaying repair will create a situation where an outbreak of Ebola may happen to patient, guest or employees.
What they’re concerned about, is that there is going to be airborne Ebola in the ward, and the air ducts are going to suck it into the HVAC system and its going to spread it around to the rest of the hospital.
There are other experts who claim that HEPA filters are only good down to .3 micron sized particulates but the ebola virus is as small as .02 microns in size so it won’t really work.
So if you can’t be sure that you can entirely eliminate the virus from an HVAC system, what is the average person to do? At a minimum, avoid direct contact with infected people and incorporate regular hand washing using soap and water.
Additional information from the FDA… Unfortunately, during outbreak situations, fraudulent products claiming to prevent, treat or cure a disease almost always appear. The FDA monitors for fraudulent products and false product claims related to the Ebola virus and takes appropriate action to protect consumers.
•There are no approved treatments for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet.
•Experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. A claim that a product prevents, treats, or cures a disease requires prior approval by FDA.
•Consumers are warned to beware unapproved products sold online and in retail stores claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus and other conditions, such as cancer, autism, Parkinson’s and heart disease. Consumers who have seen these fraudulent products or false claims are encouraged to report them to the FDA.