bacteria Health Virus

Quiz time…. Airborne Contagious Diseases

Click image for source details

How many airborne contagious diseases exist?  No one knows the precise answer to that question, so let me give you an easier one.  How many airborne contagious diseases are recognized by the CDC?1 Let me give you your options:
a. 3
b. 30
c. 300
d. 3,000

What do you think? The answer is actually a!  Now for a follow-up question.

What are the three recognized airborne contagious diseases?
a. Legionnaires disease, pontiac fever, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis
b. Aspergillosis, valley fever, and histoplasmosis
c. Influenza, common cold, SARS
d. Chicken pox, tuberculosis, and measles

  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions-Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings []

History of SBS

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is defined by the EPA as “situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.”1 But where did this term come from?

Several sources point to a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in 1982 that created a working definition.  It would have been cool to be at that meeting, although I was only 8-years-old at the time and badly addicted to Star Wars.  In 1983, a report was published from that meeting.  I’ve been trying to get my hands on it for a long time, but it’s not available online or at any local library.

When working on updating a class, I thought I would give it another search.  Just yesterday I actually found it on what appears to be a Brazilian website!  I knew I should have taken Portugese in high school.

So for you faithful Indoor Air Nerd fans out there who like a little history, I’m sharing the link to this document: Indoor Air Pollutants: exposure and health effects.  Click on the PDF icon labeled “Texto completo” to download it.  After you open it up, you’ll want to go to page 23 (the 27th page of the PDF).  There you’ll find a historical perspective on sick building syndrome.  Don’t worry, it’s in English.

As an Indoor Air Nerd, I get excited about these things!  Have a historical weekend!

  1. Indoor Air Facts No. 4, Sick Building Syndrome []