COVID or Allergies?

If you’re an allergy sufferer, you are all too familiar with the symptoms. Sneezing, coughing, congestion and a runny nose are just some of the unpleasant symptoms those who suffer from allergies experience every spring, fall, or both.

With a world-wide pandemic in place, suddenly allergy sufferers are facing the fear that those symptoms they are familiar with could also be symptoms of the debilitating and even deadly COVID-19.

How to tell the difference? Let’s break it down:

Allergy Symptoms*

  • Runny Nose, Stuffy Nose, Sneezing
  • Wheezing, Shortness of Breath
  • Cough
  • Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea and Vomiting (food allergies)

COVID-19 Symptoms**

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It’s pretty obvious that there is overlap in the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19. But how do you tell the difference?

The number one differentiating symptom is fever or chills. Despite its nickname “Hay Fever,” fever is NOT a symptom of allergies. If you have a fever and you suspect you might have been exposed to COVID-19, please seek medical attention immediately.

If you are experiencing any of the overlapping symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath and headache, the picture is not so clear. Most allergy sufferers have their stand-by treatments they use to get through allergy seasons, so if those treatments do not provide relief, please seek medical advice. The COVID-19 virus is nothing to trifle with, so if you are an allergy sufferer, please educate yourself on how to stay healthy during the fall allergy season/COVID-19 pandemic. More information on both allergies and COVID-19 can be found here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-seasonal-allergies-faqs.html

To protect yourself from seasonal allergies, the CDC recommends limiting your exposure to outdoor air when possible. They also recommend creating a cleaner indoor air environment in your home. One recommendation is to use HEPA or MERV-13 or higher air filters. Not sure what you need for your home and HVAC system? FilterShipping can help with that. Give us a call at 815-568-9300, or check out our website, www.filtershipping.com. We want you and your family to be as healthy as possible until this pandemic recedes.

*Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, www.acaai.org/allergies/symptoms

**Source: Center for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Reducing your risk of exposure to COVID-19

Much has happened since our last post on COVID-19, so we’d like to take this occasion to provide some updates, and more importantly, some peace of mind for our customers.

When the COVID-19 epidemic first emerged, it was unclear as to how it was being spread so easily. People were not only buying masks in huge quantities, but were using latex gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and washing their hands at record rates.

We now know that the virus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact, in the form of respiratory droplets spread by the contaminated person by coughing, sneezing or talking. When these droplets land in the nose or mouth of another person, or that person inhales the droplets into their lungs, they will most likely be infected. There is also evidence that these droplets can be spread by a person who is not even showing symptoms.*

However, we also now know there are significant steps we can take to prevent the spread of the virus, and to keep ourselves and our families safe.

First and foremost, it is important to follow stringent hygiene practices to avoid the spread of virus droplets that you may have been in contact with. These practices include frequent washing of hands, using hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol content, and avoiding touching your face, eyes and nose at all times.*

However, avoiding the inhalation of airborne particles is of primary importance when dealing with COVID-19. Social distancing is imperative, which means avoiding contact with people outside your immediate household. Social distancing means maintaining at least 6 ft. or more between you and the other person. While this is easy to do outdoors, indoors brings and entirely new set of challenges.

Fall is approaching, and with the cooler temperatures, we will all be moving indoors again. How can we protect ourselves in our own homes, especially since many areas are “opening up?”

Due to the particulate size of the COVID-19 virus, many home HVAC air filters are not equipped to catch such tiny particles, often compared to the particulate in cigarette smoke. There are, however, steps you can take if you want to improve your indoor air quality.

Air Cleaners, either whole-home or portable, are the highest level of protection against airborne particles. Equipped with HEPA filtration technology, they provide the highest level of filtration available to the homeowner.

However, upgrading to HEPA technology might not be within everyone’s reach. In that case, it’s prudent to look into the highest-rated MERV air filter that your system can accommodate. Highly-rated MERV filters are often used in hospitals, nursing homes, labs, and other areas where clean air is of the utmost importance. Choosing an air filter with a MERV rating in the 13-16 range will provide filtration for particulate comparable to smoke, certain bacteria, paint pigments and insecticides. While not proven, it is thought that this level of filtration could significantly reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus being spread in the home.

If you are unsure about what type of air filter would be best for your current system, or you would like to explore other air purification options, please go to http://www.filtershipping.com or call us at 815-568-9300. Stay well!

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality in the age of COVID-19

During this time of uncertainty, we are all concerned about keeping ourselves and our families safe and healthy. Following social distancing guidelines and advice recommended by our country and state’s leaders is a start, but many of you are probably wondering: What more can be done?

Since most of us are sheltering in our homes, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our home environment healthy. This time of year, most of us are transitioning from heating our homes to turning on the air conditioning, particularly in the southern states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDCrecently linked an outbreak in January to the air conditioning system inside of a restaurant in Guangzhou, China. By analyzing the seating pattern, relationships of the patrons, and identifying those that were sickened with the virus, they were able to conclude that the air conditioning unit helped spread the virus. These diagrams indicate who was affected and their positions relative to the air conditioning unit.

This study was by no mean conclusive. However, it does point to an area we CAN control: The quality of our home’s indoor air. Depending on the MERV rating, your HVAC system’s air filters can do a good job of preventing the spread of airborne contaminates.

Yes, these are frightening times, but the more you know, the more you can do to increase the chances that your family will remain healthy and well.

For more information about air filters and their various attributes, please go to www.filtershipping.com or call us at 815-568-9300.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov

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Welcome to the FilterShipping.com Blog!

Filter Shipping Inc. is a division of Air Management Inc., which has been providing expert indoor air quality service since 1994. Filter Shipping has an experienced and knowledgeable staff to assist you in your purchase and with questions. We pride ourselves in offering quality OEM filters at a fair price, with above and beyond customer service.

Our variety of products is ever-expanding; if you cannot find the product you are looking for, contact us at www.filtershipping.com/contact-us-a/254.htm or call us at 815-568-9300 and we will do our best to locate and provide you with the product you need. We can also assist you with upgrading or downgrading to better fit your needs. We believe that if we serve our customers to the best of our abilities, we will earn their trust and loyalty.

Our goal is to provide our customers with the best experience possible when ordering from us. This includes fast shipping and good communication. We also appreciate any feedback on ways we can improve our service, support, and website. In addition, we offer our customers special deals and promotions via email, so if you aren’t currently on our mailing list, be sure to sign up HERE.

We look forward to serving you!