A recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that there was an association between healthcare workers’ exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and their risk of being exposed to tuberculosis (TB). Elri Voigt unpacks the study’s findings and asks experts how CO2 monitors work, how well they predict the risk of TB exposure, and in which settings these monitors might be most useful.
While there is limited data on tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa’s schools, a growing body of evidence suggests that there is indeed significant TB transmission taking place in the country’s often over-crowded classrooms. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to several local experts about what we do and do not know about the impact this age-old disease is having on our learners and their households.
South Africa’s fifth wave of COVID-19 infections was comparatively small and is already abating. As with the fourth wave, infection was much less likely to result in hospitalisation or death than in the first three waves. In light of these changes in the pandemic, Aisha Abdool Karim asks what the “new normal” should look like when it comes to mask-wearing, ventilation, hand sanitising, and other preventive measures.
Wieda Human, Ingrid Schoeman, Ruvandhi Nathavitharana, Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen, and Ananja van der Westhuizen from TB Proof argue that we need to look upstream for solutions to improve indoor air quality.
This week, South Africa’s COVID-19 regulations were amended to state that people who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 who do not have symptoms do not have to self-isolate. People who have tested positive and who do have COVID-19 symptoms have to isolate for seven days unless a longer period is recommended by a medical practitioner. Chris Bateman spoke to some local experts about the reasoning behind the changes and what other changes may be warranted.
Ventilation plays an important role in preventing the transmission of airborne diseases but currently, ventilation standards for buildings are focused on preventing odours in spaces, instead of preventing disease transmission. Elri Voigt spoke to two experts about the role of ventilation in the transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and COVID-19 and what can be done to improve ventilation in buildings.