There is a concern that COVID can spread via HVAC. I'm guessing that's like furnace systems and venting that kind of thing inside your house or in condo or apartment buildings. BPI (Bipolar ionization) cannot only prevent this but also the spread of other viruses and allergens. Can you address this issue and also what has dealing with COVID taught you about limiting or even preventing future pandemic viral spread?




Answered by Dr. Susy Hota, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control, UHN.
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Question:
There is a concern that COVID can spread via HVAC. I'm guessing that's like furnace systems and venting that kind of thing inside your house or in condo or apartment buildings. BPI (Bipolar ionization) cannot only prevent this but also the spread of other viruses and allergens. Can you address this issue and also what has dealing with COVID taught you about limiting or even preventing future pandemic viral spread?

Answer:
Sure, yeah I think the most important thing is the ventilation the quality of the ventilation is space, because that can definitely have an impact on how long droplets and aerosols and things like that can actually last in the environment to the air. So so really making sure that you have...

[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 28, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.

Dr. Susy Hota:
Sure, yeah I think the most important thing is the ventilation the quality of the ventilation is space, because that can definitely have an impact on how long droplets and aerosols and things like that can actually last in the environment to the air. So so really making sure that you have a well-functioning HVAC system is important especially in places like hospitals or in buildings where you will see people who are sick with COVID. And there may be some technologies that assist with that but even just meeting your usual Hospital standards of the number of air exchanges that you need for fresh air coming into patient rooms is really important and hospitals should be taking up this opportunity to make sure that their hospitals are functioning well with the ventilation systems. The second part of the question is it's a big one so what have we learned about limiting or even preventing future pandemics. I'll be honest, I don't think I don't believe that there is a way that you can prevent a future pandemic truly, if it's gonna happen it's gonna happen. The one thing we can try to do is discourage the sort of close gathering of humans and other animals that can be the origins of these pandemics so things like wet markets where we believe this particular virus originated from can be breeding grounds. You know two thirds of pandemic or new emerging infections within the human population have originated from animals they're zoonotic. So I think that's one thing we can try to do to prevent the jumping from something that has a capacity to infect humans it's a new virus or organism into humans. But ultimately I'll you know I don't know that we can be so audacious to say that we would actually be able to outsmart these organisms this is something you just have to be prepared for probably a little bit better. So there are some things we learned about this event that may may be able to help us you know the next time around if it happens again hopefully not in any of our lifetimes but you know things like investing in the systems that you need to deal with it, investing in technologies and systems and research into personal protective equipment and systems design and things like that in healthcare I think are really important too. And I could probably go on for the rest of the session talking about different ideas but those are a couple of really important ones that come top of mind.

[Transcript copy is verbatim per the video]
Original air date: May 28, 2020. Information shared in this video was current at time of original broadcast.




Answered by Dr. Susy Hota, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control, UHN.
Click to learn more about UHN or to DONATE NOW

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