Indoor air quality is "of interest" to scientists and specialists in the fields of science because of its importance in maintaining the health of individuals, as the air can transmit various microbes, including pathogenic ones.
Poor indoor air quality may significantly affect the increase in the incidence of various types of diseases, especially for those with immunodeficiency diseases. So, the hospital environment requires special attention to ensure healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) to protect the patient, patient's family, and health care workers from an infection acquired by hospitals and occupational diseases.
This study aimed to identify the different types of airborne bacteria and fungi among private and governmental health care institutions, An-Najah National University Hospital (NNUH) and Rafidia Governmental Surgical Hospital.
Another aim was to evaluate the relationship between the spread of different types of them and the characteristics of the surrounding atmosphere such as temperature and humidity.
As well as, it aimed to compare the results before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic; to find the effect of adhering to the public health and safety guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Materials and Methods
Samples were collected by passive method from two different hospitals at five departments where most activities and tasks are performed inside, Besides two different sites outside the hospital, in an average of three hours.
The positive colonies were identified by using several biochemical tests. Then, the Total Microbial Load (CFU/plate) was calculated for each plate.
Furthermore, the temperature and humidity of each room from which samples were taken were also measured to find the relationship between them and the percentage of microbial airborne.
The predominant Gram-positive bacteria in Rafidia Governmental Surgical Hospital was S. aureus that presents in daycare and emergency departments, and Aer. hydrophila gr.1 among Gram-negative bacteria found in the surgical department.
While in NNUH, the predominant Gram-positive bacteria were S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus that present in departments of surgery and laboratories, respectively. and Pseudomonas luteola among Gram-negative bacteria found in daycare department.
Also, the level of airborne microbial pollutants in Rafidia Governmental Surgical Hospital appeared in greater proportions than in NNUH, as it reached in Rafidia Governmental Surgical Hospital (12430.1188 CFU/m3), while in NNUH (11779.3501 CFU/m3)
Besides, it was also found that the levels of microbial airborne in confined and crowded areas are much higher than in sparsely populated areas. Besides, the percentage was also high in rooms with high temperature and humidity.
The levels of airborne microbes were affected by the surrounding area according to the degree of crowding, temperature, and humidity. Because of these factors, we concluded that Rafidia Governmental Surgical Hospital is more polluted with microbial airborne, another reason could be due to the smallness of its facilities compared to NNUH. In this study, we will note the evidence and results that confirm our conclusion.
Besides, compared with previous studies, we concluded that infection levels during the Corona pandemic period are lower than the pre-pandemic period, which means that there’s a commitment by the hospital’s staff and patients to the public health and safety guidelines imposed by MOH including the necessary sterilizations, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
**The comparison occurred in one common section between the two studies, which is the Department of Surgery