The invisible killer you must know – air conditioner

Author: Prof. Chengliang Huang This article is authorized by the author, and please do not reprint it without authorization.

The summer heat this year seems to be more intense than in previous years, and cases of heat stroke and heat stroke have been reported frequently in various places. How pleasant it is to enjoy the coolness brought by the air conditioner in the hot summer. In the sweltering heat some time ago, many people even relied on air conditioners to “continue their lives”. But as everyone knows, while air conditioning helps us resist the high temperature and heat, it can also cause a variety of respiratory diseases, such as allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. Patients are more likely to have attacks in the air-conditioned environment, and if they are not careful, the air conditioner blows out “Legionella pneumonia” ” or ” hypersensitivity pneumonitis “, it may be fatal, you must know.

Legionella pneumonia

Legionella pneumonia is caused by the bacteria Legionella The main manifestations of pneumonia are infectious diseases that can be combined with other systemic damage outside the lungs. Legionella is essentially an aerobic, gram-negative bacillus, named after its first appearance at a veterans gathering in Philadelphia in 1976, causing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella is an aquatic bacterium that is ubiquitous in various water environments and moist soils, and air conditioners have naturally become a breeding ground for Legionella. People often get sick from inhaling aerosols containing Legionella. People of all ages can get sick, but people with chronic diseases, the elderly, the frail, and those with weakened immunity are more susceptible to this disease. Summer and autumn are the peak seasons of Legionella pneumonia, and the heat is unbearable. There are two main manifestations after human infection with Legionella. The first is influenza-like type, which is mainly manifested as acute fever, but it is self-limiting, and usually heals on its own within 3-5 days. The threat to people is less; the second type is pneumonia, which is mainly manifested as fever, chills, chills, fatigue, anorexia, muscle aches, cough, expectoration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, disturbance of consciousness, etc. , in severe cases can lead to death. Fortunately, it is not contagious from person to person. Although Legionella is essentially a bacterium, it is different from ordinary bacteria. It is ineffective against the more commonly used penicillins and cephalosporins in daily life, and is only effective against macrolides. Class, quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics are effective.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a Inflammatory lung disease with or without pulmonary fibrosis. Everyone may have heard of “air-conditioning lungs”, but the real reason may not be understood. In daily life, air conditioners are often easily contaminated by “thermophilic actinomycetes”. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by air. Although “thermophilic actinomycetes” are the main culprits of “air-conditioning lungs”, air-conditioning has become a “killer’s tool and accomplice”. Actinophilus thermophilus is essentially a Gram-positive bacteria with branched mycelium. Named for the radial growth on the base. In addition to causing people to suffer from “air-conditioning lung”, Actinobacter thermophilus can also cause allergic pneumonia such as “farmer’s lung”, “mushroom lung” and “cane pneumoconiosis”. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis can manifest as acute, subacute, or chronic onset. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by air conditioning often presents with acute or subacute onset. Mainly manifested as chills, fever, cough, expectoration, shortness of breath, fatigue, similar to the symptoms of a cold, and it is easy to be mistaken for “cold”, but also manifested as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, similar to asthma-like attacks. Of course, severe cases can be fatal. In treatment, it is necessary to get rid of or avoid antigen contact. Glucocorticoids are the main treatment drugs. Those who cause pulmonary fibrosis also need anti-fibrotic therapy.

How to prevent?

It can be seen from the above that although the air conditioner is good, “air conditioner disease” has to be prevented. Whether it is Legionella pneumonia or allergic pneumonia, it is very likely that air conditioning is closely related, and it is unlikely to “quit air conditioning” in hot summer. Based on this, every year before or during the use of air conditioning, every It is particularly important to clean and disinfect the air conditioner every two months, which can reduce Legionella and thermophilic actinomycetes, thereby reducing the risk of Legionella pneumonia and allergic pneumonia; It is also an important measure to ensure that fresh air enters the room; finally, it is not advisable to stay in an air-conditioned environment for too long. It is recommended to go outside to breathe fresh air after 2-3 hours, which can play a certain role in preventing Legionella pneumonia and allergic pneumonia. effect.

Author Profile

  • Attending physician, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University p>

  • Dr. in the United States

  • Member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)

  • Member of the Professional Committee of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of Sichuan Medical Promotion Association

  • Member of Sichuan Lung Cancer and Interventional Respiratory Medicine Group

  • Member of Sichuan Lung Cancer Group

  • Member of Sichuan Specialized Committee for Geriatric Cancer Treatment

  • Young Member of Sichuan Medical Association Respiratory Specialized Committee< /span>

  • Member of Sichuan Respiratory Infection and Tuberculosis Group

  • < span>Member of Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO)

  • WestThe core expert of pulmonary nodules and lung cancer MDT in the Affiliated Hospital of South Medical University

  • presided over 8 projects at all levels, and published more than 40 papers in Chinese and English, including 12 SCI papers, the highest impact factor of a single paper is 11.059 (JHO)

  • Review expert: Professor Wang Shengsheng, columnist of Yimaitong, Dan affiliated to Hainan Medical College Municipal People’s Hospital