Types of Airborne Viruses

Types of Airborne Viruses 

Airborne viruses are a type of virus spread through the air and can be inhaled by people nearby from the source. This type of virus is especially concerning because no direct contact is required for transmission. Therefore, it’s essential to understand which viruses are airborne so that you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. Let’s take a look at some examples of these types of viruses. 

Influenza (the Flu) Virus 

The flu virus is one of the most common airborne viruses and is characterized by a fever, sore throat, cough, headache, and runny nose. It’s particularly contagious during the winter when temperatures drop. The flu virus spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs, and tiny droplets containing the virus are released into the air, where they can be inhaled by anyone nearby. Therefore, getting a flu shot each year and practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with sick people, will prevent you from getting sick. 

Measles Virus 

Measles is another airborne virus that spreads quickly in enclosed spaces like schools or tiny homes. The symptoms typically begin with a fever followed by red rashes on the face that spread to other body areas over time. Measles can cause severe complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). So it’s essential to ensure everyone in your family has been vaccinated against it to prevent measles from spreading. 


Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that can cause several illnesses, including conjunctivitis (pink eye), upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, and even meningitis (inflammation of the brain). Like other airborne viruses, adenoviruses spread through tiny droplets released into the air when someone sneezes or coughs. To reduce your risk of exposure to adenovirus infection, practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with those who are ill.  


Rhinovirus is a common virus that causes most upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. It has a wide host range, though it is most commonly found in humans, rarely infecting animals. It is an RNA virus and is composed of phosphoproteins. There are multiple species of Rhinoviruses as well as numerous strains within each species. It spreads via contact with contaminated objects on surfaces or through airborne droplets expelled during sneezing and coughing. The symptoms associated with the Rhinovirus include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and general fatigue among others. Some cases may be accompanied by severe complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia, if left untreated. Therefore, if you suspect infection with this virus, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.

Coronavirus (COVID)

The coronavirus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, is a highly contagious virus that has recently caused a global pandemic. Coronavirus is a member of the coronaviridae family, and the name derives from its characteristic crown-like spikes on its surface. It has been found to cause severe respiratory illness in humans, including but not limited to dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, it can also lead to pneumonia or other complications requiring hospitalization. As a result, health experts are continuously conducting and analyzing research associated with this virus to help contain its spread and find viable treatments.

Mumps Virus

Mumps virus is a contagious viral infection that affects the salivary glands and sometimes other organs. In rare cases, it can be lethal. The virus spreads through contact with saliva droplets or fluid from an infected person’s nose or mouth. Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen cheeks due to inflammation of the salivary glands; however, these symptoms can vary depending on which parts of the body become infected. Although there is no cure for the mumps virus, preventive measures such as immunization offer adequate protection from this infection.

Airborne viruses are a type of virus that can be spread through tiny droplets released into the air when someone sneezes or coughs. Those around them can inhale without any direct contact required for transmission making them particularly concerned. Some examples include influenza (the flu), measles, and adenoviruses which all have different symptoms but share similar methods for prevention, such as practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with those who are ill as well as getting vaccinated where available. Another crucial method to prevent airborne viruses is having clean air quality by using a commercial air purification system. Understanding these types of viruses helps you better protect yourself from becoming infected with them in the future!

How Air Purifiers Help Prevent Airborne Virus Transmission 

Air purifiers help reduce the risk of airborne virus transmission by trapping harmful particles in their filters before they have a chance to infect others. However, not all air purifiers are created equal; some may only trap larger particles, such as pollen, while others may filter out smaller particles, like bacteria and viruses. To ensure maximum protection against airborne viruses, it is essential to research and understand its technology! We will go over the types of technology available. In addition, we will go over how each one works to help you eliminate pathogens for processing foods.

The Types of Air Purification

How does UV technology work

UV technology uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. UV is a safe and effective way to purify the air in your industrial space. However, UV technology does not remove particles from the air, so it is ineffective at reducing mold, bacteria, and odors. Once the UV starts to get dusty, which can happen quickly, it will lose efficiency and significantly impact the light bulb’s irradiation. As a result, the dust covering the UV bulb will cause it to be less effective in sanitizing. Therefore, shadowing is a common issue with UV technology. Distance and exposure time to the light is required to be effective. They use a shortwave of ultraviolet light, which reacts with those pathogens and kills them. To learn more about UV technology, please watch the video below!


How does an ozone generator work?

Ozone generators create ozone, a gas that creates three oxygen atoms. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that can kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in the air and surfaces. It also breaks down odors and smoke particles. However, at high levels it is not safe to use when people are in the room, and after a few minutes, the ozone dissipates, and you have to keep reintroducing it. So this is most commonly used as a shock treatment. Click the video below to learn more about Ozone Generators!

How does Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology work?

PCO technology uses oxidation to eliminate organic contaminants in facilities’ air quality. Some claim they do surface sanitation. However, they only produce hydroxyl radicals & superoxide ions that exhaust from the unit. As a result, these do NOT reach very far to destroy pathogens, including viruses. It is similar to the NASA air purifier. Watch the video below to learn more about NASA air purification and PCO purifiers!

How does bipolar ionization work?

Bipolar ionization produces negative and positive ions that attach to particles in the air. Therefore, these ions cause the particles to clump together, making them easier to filter out of the air. Bipolar ionization effectively reduces allergens, removes smoke and odors, and breaks down harmful chemicals. However, it is not as effective at killing mold and viruses in a short amount of time. That is because negative and positive ions usually have a very short half-life. Moreover, we have seen tests with these in the real world, and in most cases, they do not reach all the air and surfaces. So it is crucial to size these correctly and purchase multiple units for a small standard industrial space.

How does Dry Hydrogen Peroxide work?

Dry hydrogen peroxide systems release a mist of hydrogen peroxide into the air. The hydrogen peroxide breaks into oxygen and water, purifying the air and killing mold, viruses, and other microorganisms. Dry hydrogen peroxide systems are safe for humans and animals and effectively reduce mold, bacteria, and odors and break down harmful chemicals. However, it could be more effective in sanitizing surfaces at long distances as the units currently on the market only produce very low hydrogen peroxide levels.

How do foggers work?

Foggers release chemicals into the air that attach to contaminants. The fogged particles fall onto exposed surfaces and objects from the air. Foggers effectively reduce viruses, mold, germs, and allergens. However, that chemical sprayed into the environment dissipates after a few hours, and the cold store or warehouse is at high risk of perishables being subject to cross-contamination again. If the facility is organic, there is a high chance of risk to the organic labeling.

How do air filtration systems work?

Air filtration systems remove particles from the air using filters. The filters are paper, cloth, or other materials. Air filtration systems effectively reduce mold, bacteria, and odors. However, they are not as effective at killing bacteria and viruses. In addition, these air filtrations collect pathogens, and when bacteria gets collected in a filter, it is still active, and bacteria can multiply on the filter. So be careful when replacing these filters!

How Does ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) work?

There are 7 ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) to kills pathogens and odor as it passes through the air purifier. In addition, it sanitizes the air that comes out of the purifier, enters the environment, and continues to sanitize all surfaces it contacts. Here is the 2-stage process:

Phase 1- Primary Air Cleaning

Placed within your room’s airflow, air from the environment containing microorganisms enters the purifier’s internal chamber. As a result, The reaction chamber creates non-thermal plasma and generates ROS. ROS is comprised of 5 short-lived, highly Reactive Oxygen Species:

  • Atomic oxygen O(3P)
  • Singlet oxygen 1O2
  • Hydroxyl radical .OH
  • Superoxide O2-
  • Peroxynitrite ONOO-

These break down carbon-to-carbon bonds that sanitize the air and destroy all bacteria, molds, viruses, and other pathogens as they pass through the reaction chamber.

Phase 2- Secondary Surface & Air Cleaning

Provides Surface sanitation and continued Air sanitation. The purified air now diffused into the environment contains longer lived Reactive Oxygen Species:

  • Gas-phased H2O2 (GpHP) or dry hydrogen peroxide
  • Low concentration levels of O3 ozone

These combine and create Hydrogen Trioxide (H2O3) an Active Antimicrobial formed through the peroxone process. As a result, this H2O3 is very effective at sanitizing the surfaces and air 24/7.

ROS with H2O3 further sanitizes the room air and surfaces that are a long-distance from the purifier. This commercial air purifier technology is the only one that can provide odor control, long-distance surface treatment, and purify the air all at once. Amazing right? To learn more, watch this video below!


Best Commercial Air Purifications For Airborne Viruses

Now that we have gone over how each technology works. Let us talk about choosing the right one for airborne viruses!

When choosing the best industrial air purifications for cold storage and warehouses, you should consider the following factors:

  • The size of your space
  • The type of contaminants you need to remove
  • Treat all surfaces with the purifier. (not just near the purifier, but all surfaces)
  • Require low electricity usage
  • Monitor the levels of the unit’s production 24/7
  • Have a sanitizer created and output from the purifier itself, or else the air will only be purifying.
  • Organic and no-chemicals consumed.
  • Be safe while people are present
  • Offer manual adjustments to the unit’s power

If you have an industrial or commercial space, you will need a powerful commercial air & surface purifier covering significant square footage. In addition, if you are trying to remove pathogens, allergens, smoke, or odors, you will need a technology that can remove these contaminants 24/7 safely. Furthermore, if you want a device that can sanitize all surfaces, consider ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) technology.


No matter your needs, AirROS commercial air purifiers can help you create a healthier environment to prevent & reduce airborne viruses!

While many types of air purification technology are on the market, ROS is our recommended method for purifying the air and sanitizing surfaces 24/7. It effectively kills Influenza, Measles, Adenovirus, and Rhinoviruses, Coronavirus (COVID), Mumps Virus, plus odor.

Contact a specialist today if you are interested in learning more about how ROS technology and AirROS industrial air and surface purification systems can benefit your commercial or industrial space.