Biologicals

No, this is not a warning of what’s round. To see that go and visit the RSOE EDIS site.

This is a subject that scares the heck out of me because unlike chemicals, they often have no aroma and carriers can be anything from wildlife, people, simply touching something, or even a “sick” building.
I’m not talking terrorism either. Simple nature and modern life at “play”.
So what are we talking about here?
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

First thing. They are small. Damn small.
What’s small? Typically scientists use all sorts of terms for damn small.
A µm or micron is 1/1000 of a millimeter 
A human hair is just 100 µm across.
Smaller still is the nanometers (nm) which is 1/1000 smaller still.
10 nm  is 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of the human hair.

Fungus. 2–10 microns in diameter but can be up to centimeters in length. (10-50 fit across a hair)
Mycosis is fungal infection of animals, including humans and it often starts in the lungs or on the skin.
Common one? Thrush and athletes foot.
Often triggered by the use of antibiotics.
The worse thing is damp and modern building techniques which can generate airborne fungal spores that can have serious effects on the respiration system.

Bacteria. 150-250 nm small bacteria to 2 µm E.coli
So 50-400 will fit across a hair.
Scary Airborne ones caught from HUMANS include:-
Chicken and smallpox, Flu, Measles, Mumps, Whooping Cough, Meningitis, Pneumonia, TB, and even plague.
Scary Airborne one caught from BUILDINGS includes Legionnaires Disease.

Then there are the contact or ingestion ones.
That list is REALLY SCARY so you look that one up.
It includes little gems like cholera, MRSA, and TB. 
Yep, TB has appeared twice and is becoming resistant to all sorts of drugs too. 
IMO the biggest threat of all. 

Now viruses.
Where to start. They are smaller than tiny.
30 nm Rhino viruses (Common cold) to 120 nm Large virus (influenza virus)
With 800-3000 fitting across a hair, DIY dust masks are not a heck of a lot of good!

Airborne, waterborne, or contact.
In short they can get you from most any form of transmission. 
The influenza and other viruses can live outside the body and transmitted by contaminated surfaces such as money, door knobs, light switches, etc. That’s why someone can catch the Norwalk virus from touching a door knob. Worse still, if it is in a glob of mucus something like bird flu can survive indefinitely when frozen.

Protection. 
Simply put, if a virus is airborne, you’re toast unless you can get inoculated or sealed away from the outside with a filtering system only commercial units can provide. 
Forget the hankie over your face, we’re talking full NBC gear and self contained breathing gear.
There again, isolation works. 
You, them, and a REALLY good distance between them and you.

Face masks for respiration protection.
Different types have different capabilities. 
For example, FFP3 or P100 (US notation) can stop most bacteria and some larger viruses.
A HEPA filter can remove as much as 99.97% of all airborne particulates of 0.3  µm or bigger.
Bear in mind that viruses can be only  0.1 µm across.

Hands.
Latex gloves RULE. Got to love old technology.
They stop most anything that doesn’t eat rubber.
Latex stops the HIV virus and that’s 0.120 µm across. Think latex condoms.

Clothing.
Most clothing is woven and if it is forget it.
It ain’t going to stop a lot unless it’s purpose made like rain suits i.e. oilskins, or equivalent.
Don’t forget though, zips “leak”, Velcro isn’t a perfect seal either and as for buttons? Yeah right.

Footwear.
Wellington boots with waterproof trousers OVER them to stop bugs dropping in for a chat.
Your nice bullet proof leather or tactical footwear probably “breathes” and that all it will take to give a bug access. Besides if you are like me with sweaty feet, a drop of moisture is all it takes to keep a bug alive.

Eyes.
A fast track into the body as are ears and other “orifices”.
Forget goggles because if they are sealed, they often steam up.
Safety glasses a definite NO.
As for contact lenses. The bug gets into the eye and the lenses just help it to stay there.
You need to be thinking full face respirators or at least a fire hood with an inbuilt FFP3 filter.

Respirators.
Full face is best. Half ones leave the eyes open to contamination.
What “strength” filter?
Think ceramic water purification rating i.e. absolute filtering to 0.9 microns
NOTE:- That wouldn’t stop the HIV virus though at 0.12 microns.
Having said that, a totally sealed recycled air type rules.

As for drinking water. Boil it, BOIL IT, and BOIL IT.
Chemicals can help but heat works best.
Click here to see the article I shouldn’t laugh but.
A REALLY good reason for boiling everything.

All this is OK but consider that a person (once infected) can carry a virus without showing any outward signs of it for the rest of their lives i.e. become a carrier. Or, if truly airborne, the whole planet can “carry it”.
That’s going to be mighty difficult to cope with as basically all you can do is ask if someone has been exposed to “THE BUG” and hope that they don’t lie. Even if they didn’t get sick, it doesn’t stop them becoming one of the “unclean”.

You may now see why they scare me so much.

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