1. Coronavirus and Important Things to Know About Airborne Particles
  • Coronavirus and Important Things to Know About Airborne Particles

    March 23, 2020

    Here’s some things to know about COVID-19, as well as what to do to better protect yourself, your family and home.

    • With the increased concern of the virus causing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we’ve gotten questions from consumers and retail partners about what they can do to help prevent the spread of the virus—and what our products do, in relation to viruses. Read on for information about what we know and what you can do to help clean the air in your family’s home.

      What We Know

      What is the coronavirus?

      According to the CDC, the term “coronavirus” has been around since the 1960s, and actually refers to a group of viruses named for the crown-like spikes on their surface.¹ Many coronaviruses cause upper-respiratory tract illnesses—such as SARS, which experienced an outbreak in the early 2000s—but this particular strain, named SARS-CoV-2, is a new coronavirus not previously seen in humans.² The disease the virus causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”), after first being detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.³

      How is it transmitted?

      Initial COVID-19 patients had connections to a seafood and live animal market, suggesting an animal-to-person spread, but now COVID-19 can travel from person to person in close contact—within six feet of each other—for a prolonged period of time. COVID-19 is thought to most often spread through respiratory droplets, like sneezing and coughing, and less commonly by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. In a couple of cases, patients have contracted COVID-19 through what’s known as “community spread,” meaning some aren’t sure how or where they became infected.⁴

      For more information on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

      What You Can Do

      How can I help protect myself from viruses?

      The CDC recommends some everyday things to prevent getting sick and spreading illnesses.⁵
       

      • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
      • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Avoid touching your face.
      • Stay home when you’re sick.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
      • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces with household cleaning supplies registered with the EPA.

      How can I help improve my home’s air quality, in relation to airborne particles?

      Particles 0.5 microns and smaller can hang in the air for up to 41 hours.⁶ While Filtrete™ Air Filters cannot reduce the risk or prevent the spread of the coronavirus, our air purifier filters and high performance HVAC filters (MPR 1500 and above) can help provide cleaner, fresher air. Our 3M exclusive 3-in-1 filtration technology pulls in and captures a percentage of microscopic airborne particles, including bacteria and particles that carry viruses.

      It’s key to know that the higher the MPR, the more effective the filter is at reducing unwanted air particles without harming your HVAC system. Specifically, you want to look for an electrostatic filter—versus a flat panel/fiberglass filter—with an MPR rating of 1500 or above, such as a Filtrete™ Smart Air Filter or Healthy Living Air Filter. Remember to change your filter at least every 90 days for optimal performance.