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インフルエンザ空気感染を防止するポイント

インフルエンザの女性

インフルエンザはさまざまな経路で感染しますが、空気中を漂っているインフルエンザウィルスが感染してしまう空気感染というケースもあります。

空気感染は飛沫感染ほどの強い感染力はない反面、どこでも感染してしまう可能性があるという危険性があります。

このインフルエンザの空気感染を予防するためにはどうすれば良いのでしょうか。本稿ではインフルエンザの空気感染予防のポイントについてまとめています。

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インフルエンザの3つの感染経路・中心は飛沫感染だが…

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インフルエンザは3つの経路で感染するとされます。それは飛沫感染・接触感染・空気感染の3つの経路です。

飛沫感染とは、くしゃみや咳などのしぶき(飛沫・ひまつ)に含まれるインフルエンザウィルスが感染するというものです。インフルエンザの感染経路としてはもっとも多いとされます。また、接触感染とはインフルエンザウィルスを保菌している方の手やインフルエンザウィルスが付着したドアノブなどから感染するというものです。インフルエンザウィルスは非常に強い感染力がありますので、接触からも感染します。

そして3つ目がインフルエンザの空気感染です。これは空気中に漂っているインフルエンザウィルスを体に吸い込んでしまうことで感染するというものです。

インフルエンザウィルスへの感染としてもっとも多いものは飛沫感染と言われます。くしゃみやせきなどは多くのインフルエンザウィルスが大量に含まれていますので、感染力は協力で飛沫からの感染はもっとも多いと言われます。飛沫感染を防止するためにはマスクの着用が効果的です。

しかし、環境によっては飛沫感染よりも、むしろ空気感染に注意しなければならない場合もあります。それはオフィスなどで密閉された環境の場合です。

オフィスなどではインフルエンザの空気感染に要注意

オフィスなどの密閉された空間ではインフルエンザの空気感染に特に注意する必要性があります。先に述べましたようにインフルエンザ感染原因としてもっとも多いのは飛沫感染です。

しかし、そもそも、インフルエンザでせきやくしゃみをしている人は仕事を休んでいるのが通常です。もちろん、インフルエンザは発症までの潜伏期間がありますので、そのタイムラグの間に飛沫感染のおそれはあります。しかし、インフルエンザ発症後は一般にインフルエンザ罹患者の方は仕事を休まれるでしょう。そのため、オフィス等の環境では飛沫感染の危険性は低くなるということができます。

しかし、空気中を漂っているインフルエンザウィルスはオフィスなどでは常時「飛び回って」います。そしてインフルエンザウィルスは職場が暖房などで乾燥しているとその活動が活発化されます。

そのため、密閉されたオフィス(その他学校の教室などの環境)では流行の季節にはたえず飛び回っているインフルエンザウィルスに感染しないように防衛することのほうが重要となるとさえいうことができます。

職場・教室など不特定多数のひとが集まっている密閉された環境ではインフルエンザの空気感染に注意する必要があります。

インフルエンザの空気感染を予防するためには

インフルエンザの空気感染を予防するためには以下のような点がポイントとなります。39

加湿機の利用

インフルエンザウィルスは、湿気に弱いという特徴があります。湿気がある環境ではインフルエンザウィルスは十分に活動することが出来ません。そこで、職場でも加湿機を備え付けることでインフルエンザの空気感染の可能性を大きく予防することができます。より具体的には部屋の湿度は50パーセントから60パーセント程度が望ましいということができます。

こまめなうがい・のど飴の利用

これもインフルエンザが湿気に弱いということと関係しますがこまめにうがいをしてのどを湿らせておくことでインフルエンザウィルスが喉などに付着することを予防することができます。あるいはのど飴をなめて喉を湿気あるものとしておくことで空気感染を予防することにつながります。

インフルエンザウィルスはたえず飛び回っていますが、湿気に弱いという特徴をつかむことで空気感染を予防することが比較的容易となるということができます。

その他、一般的なこととして、インフルエンザに空気感染をしても体の抵抗力・免疫力を強化することでインフルエンザの発症をさせないということも重要です。

インフルエンザが流行する季節は無理をせずに早めに帰宅をしてゆっくりと休むこと、十分な栄養を取られることなども空気感染を予防するために、一般論として重要と言うことができます。

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まとめ:インフルエンザの空気感染予防のポイントは湿気

以上、本文で述べましたインフルエンザの空気感染予防のポイントをまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • インフルエンザはくしゃみなどの飛沫・保菌者との接触などの他空気中に漂っているインフルエンザウィルスからも感染する可能性があります(インフルエンザの空気感染)
  • インフルエンザの空気感染は密閉されたオフィスや教室などで発症しやすいということができます。これらの環境では、加湿器の利用(部屋の湿度は50パーセントから60パーセント程度)のど飴の利用、こまめなうがいなどでのどの湿気を保つことが重要ということができます
  • インフルエンザの予防のため流行の季節はしっかりと休養と栄養を摂り健康に配慮することもとても重要です

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