What Is The Danger of Water-logged Air In Your Bedroom?
Warning: humidifiers can cause severe infections! According to recent reports from the Ministry of Health, humidifiers that are commonly used in children's bed rooms can spread bacteria called Legionella, which causes severe and fatal pneumonia. This is how you can decrease your risk.
What does a humidifier?
The role of a humidifier of any kind is to add moisture to the air by producing water- logged air. This is important because of the extensive use of heaters in winter as air conditioners, space heaters and radiators, drying the air in the apartment. Even in summer the use of air conditioning dries the air and using humidifier can be helpful in adding moisture.
So what is the danger of water-logged air in your bedroom?
Recent reports show that there is danger in using cold steam humidifier. The water logged air that is made can contain bacteria that may lead to pneumonia and severe infections. Ministry of Health recommends disinfecting the humidifiers and using only cooled pre-boiled water.
What is the Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires' disease is a severe pneumonia that affects mainly the elderly, people that are immune compromised and people with respiratory diseases and medical conditions. The disease is caused by the bacteria called "Legionella” that can be found in water, including drinking water, which breeds in still, hot or warm water – especially in the presence of scale (e.g. boiler, kettle) and precipitation.
The disease is called ad Legionnaires disease’ because in 1976, many participants got infected during the American Legion convention in a hotel in Philadelphia. The scientists found that the bacteria also contaminate the air conditioning systems. Infection occurs due to inhalation of spray water containing the bacteria, but not through water drinking.
What are the symptoms of the Legionnaires’ disease?
The symptoms of Legionnaires' disease are as ordinary pneumonia: fever, chills and coughing. Some people have headaches, diarrhea and muscle pains. The disease usually lasts two to 10 days, but to achieve full recovery it can take up to several weeks in some cases.
How is the diagnosis made?
The pediatrician may collect samples from the child’s respiratory tract and send the secretions to the medical laboratory for testing. In addition, you can perform a urine test designed to detect bacteria, as well as blood tests to detect antibodies.
The treatment will include antibiotics called Azithromycin, used to treat Legionnaires' disease. So what is the danger of water-logged air in your bedroom you asked? In severe cases, the disease leads to respiratory collapse and death, especially in children and populations where the immune system is weak.
So what humidifiers got to do with it?
Cold humidifiers are widely used by the public, especially during the winter period or while having respiratory diseases. As part of their proper functioning, humidifiers produce water logged air that comes from the water filling of the device. The danger of water logged air in your bedroom is having the people that are in the room infected due to the Legionella bacteria that is within the water itself.
This happens when the water stand still for a while, the Legionella bacteria could penetrate the water, multiply in it and infect all the people that are in the room. It is important to mention that the bacterium is not viral and does not pass from person to person.
Recommendations for parents
Due to recent incidents reported around the country and around the globe, the Ministry of Health calls the public to take the following actions:
Once a day: Empty, wipe and dry the device and fill it with cooled pre boiled water.
Once a week: Thorough cleaning of the inside of the machine and drying
Once a season: Thorough cleaning and drying the device before and after storage
There is a strong recommendation to stop using humidifiers, the main reason is the danger of becoming ill with Legionnaires' disease. At the same time, doctors and many professionals recommend that you provide an alternate air source. It is important to stay in ventilated rooms, where there is increased air circulation, and the risk of becoming ill with a respiratory disease is lower.
Until now, it was thought that the use of a humidifier increases the humidity around the child and that may relieve coughs that attacks the children throughout the year. Recently it was found that the use of these devices is ineffective and warnings in using humidifiers in children’s bedrooms have increased.