Monthly Archives: March 2015

Yes, dirt can save lives

Baby smiler
Growing immune systems need to learn about germs too

Amazingly resilient, kids.

They get chickenpox, measles, mumps – and never get them again.

Or at least only rarely. Catch something once, they develop an immunity – which seems to protect them for the rest of their lives.

Not just illnesses either.

They might look weak and fragile, but kids have built-in resistance to all kinds of things, particularly allergies.

Brilliant survivors

Like it or not, it’s good for your kids to eat dirt.

Not that any of us believe it of course.

We’re so paranoid about germs and dirt and keeping clean, we wrap our kids up in cotton-wool and shut them away from anything bad.

Which could be the worst thing of all.

Overdo the sanitising gels, wipes, soaps, sprays, pasteurised milk, irradiated food and antibiotic everything, and we accelerate auto-immune disease.

Because we prevent the body from learning what is good and what is bad and developing defences for it.

Makes sense if you think about it.

Learning about germs

A baby explores everything with her mouth.

The most yucky stuff goes in there and we’re horrified at the possibilities.

But how often does something bad result – and how else can her immune system become attuned to the challenges around her if it doesn’t know what it’s up against?

So eating dirt is actually good, not bad.

Up to a point.

There is still a need for preventative hygiene. And the older kids get, the less likely they can get away with not washing hands, cleaning their teeth or all the other good habits that exist to keep them healthy.

Sure, kids who grow up with allergens and household bacteria wind up stronger than kids who don’t. But not when exposure is constant and excessive – like living in damp conditions surrounded by mildew and mould.

TB and asthma are not nice for anyone. And childhood afflictions tend to be life-long, or with recurring symptoms later in life.

Good dirt, bad dirt

Which means as a parent, you need to balance good dirt and bad dirt.

You can’t watch them every second of the time, but you can make certain whatever they get their hands on is not full of dog poo or overflow from the drains.

And you can insist on common sense as they get older, shifting them from exploratory habits to safer ones as their baby systems develop, teaching basic hygiene as you go.

Besides, when it comes to nosh, kids quickly get the picture anyway.

Here comes the aeroplane, full of yummy prune and butternut. Open the tunnel, all that good stuff going down inside, to make you strong and healthy.

More fun than clods of earth or mud pies.

Been there, done that, got the immunity.

Your next breath could be your last

Girl finess training
Healthy as anything,
until a germ gets you

Think it can’t happen?

One breath is all it takes.

Or a swallow. Or the next time you touch your face – which we do 2,000 times a day.

One germ contact and foops! You’re off work, or in hospital, or worse.

Doesn’t worry you right this instant, does it?

When you’re well, you’re untouchable.

It’s gonna happen

Yet every single day 2.2% of us are booked off sick from work. That’s 1.4 million people, every single day.

And count on it, sooner or later you’re going to come down with something and you’ll be one of them. Not if, but when.

Because we’re ALL colonised by bacteria ALL the time – and surrounded by billions more. Bacteria, viruses, fungi – you name it.

That’s not out in the open air either.

It’s in our homes and where we work and relax. Because we live indoors most of the time.

And the indoor biome, as it’s called, is one of the fastest growing environments round the world – the urban, indoor life of the city dweller.

Think it’s nice and clean and away from the threats of outside?

Every home has bugs. Bacteria and viruses too. Some of them benign and helpful. Others waiting to do us down. (Tweet this) And make no mistake, we are surrounded by them all the time. Every breath drags more of them in.

Good bugs, bad bugs, everywhere

We can’t see them of course, they stay out of sight.

Cockroaches and bedbugs hide away so well, if you see any one of them you already have an infestation problem.

Viruses and bacteria do even better. They’re so small, billions of them could be on your hand right now and you would never know.

Which is why hygiene is so crucial to your health. Kinda like wash your hands or else.

Because the body is remarkably resilient to threats from germs, but it’s not invincible.

One cut – even a paper cut – can put you down. One breath at the wrong moment.

And surrounded by billions and billions of germs as we are – the slightest opportunity any of them finds, they will take it.

But they’re off the radar, aren’t they?

Unseen but deadly

We can’t see them, so therefore they don’t exist. We only react to what we CAN see, which is visual dirt. Cleaning something we can understand – we can see the difference when we’ve done it too.

But awareness of germs, particularly in the house?

Beyond bunging some bleach in the loo and the odd scrub up in the kitchen, we don’t even think about them.

Which is taking more of a risk than we know.

Because of our climate, most of us in the UK live indoors most of the time. And what a climate! Raining all the time, right?

One look outside proves it. Green garden fences – from algae, lichen or moss. Stuff growing everywhere.

It’s even scarier indoors. And again – out of sight, out of mind.

Until you pull the wardrobe out and see the damp behind. The mildew and mould that you never realised was there.

Together with the other germs, the ever-present damp, and the warmth from the central heating, you’re living a lot more at hazard than you ever thought you were.

Wash your hands, save your life

Which is why hygiene – particularly taking care of those unseen nasties – is key to enjoying life and avoiding those cough-splutters that pull you down.

Except you can’t scrub and wipe-clean everything.

You can’t scrub the air around you either, which is 80% of your living space.

And that’s full of bugs too, floating around so small, they may never settle on anything – except you when you walk through them, take another breath and…

Don’t go there.

A Hypersteriliser will fix them though. Sterilise a whole room at a time so there are no germs anywhere – not even underneath things, behind them, or in cracks, or anywhere.

You just press a button – and twenty minutes later, sorted.

Not something we think a lot about now, but one day your life could depend on it.

And a heck of a lot better than holding your breath.

Campylobacter: playing chicken with your health

Girl with tummy ache
Forget to wash your hands and you’ll soon know all about it

Nasty, this one.

And one of the main causes of stomach upsets everywhere.

Cramps, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting. You need it like a hole in the head.

Which anyone who catches it probably has, because you get it by being forgetful.

Seriously, yes.

Not always supermarkets

Because you can blame it on the supermarkets, or the poultry farmers who supply them – but ultimately, it’s your own fault. The same as not washing your hands before handling food – carelessness that can make you very ill.

You see, it’s a fact of life that campylobacter lives naturally in the intestines of healthy birds.

Because of that, it’s also found in water, food, soil, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the faeces of these birds or other animals.

It’s highly contagious, so you can get it from other humans too.

Which means not washing your hands explains the hole in your head.

Campylobacter is not a thing to take chances with.

And since it occurs naturally, it’s up to you to take the necessary precautions. (Tweet this)

Safe if you’re careful

Because as long as you’re careful, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy chicken, turkey or any other kind of poultry. As an affordable source of protein, it’s tasty, easy to prepare, liked by almost everyone and pretty well unbeatable.

First off, it’s safest to assume though that campylobacter is always possible, even likely. So if you have to handle raw poultry at all, ALWAYS wash your hands.

That applies to anything it comes in contact with too – knives, chopping boards, counter-tops. While it’s still raw, it contaminates everything.

It pays to keep it separate from other foods you’re preparing too. Cross-contamination before you’ve cooked anything is all too easy.

Once you’ve cooked things of course, the problem goes away. Just make sure it’s grilled, roasted, boiled, stewed or fried enough to make sure any bacteria cannot survive. Heat kills it, so under-done meat is a hazard.

That said, there IS an onus on the poultry farmer to lessen the risk.

Since campylobacter occurs naturally in healthy birds, removing any risk before sales happen must be part of the cost of doing business.

There are already costs in preparing product for market – often right through to customer-ready finished packaging – so ensuring output is safe to eat lies squarely with the producer.

But supermarkets must accept responsibility too – part of due diligence to ensure ALL foodstuffs conform to regulations and are risk free.

Quality control

Besides, who buys any product without checking it, especially five tons of it at a time?

In fact, knowing that campylobacter is an issue right from the beginning of the supply chain, the food industry and the government should probably have some kind of certification that the product has been officially inspected and is campylobacter-free.

Government, yeah.

As if.

So far they’ve got to the strategy workshop. Expect official action within the next ten years or so.

Either that, or the supermarkets should voluntarily take it on themselves.

What home-maker would not be reassured by a sticker on her purchase that the product has passed all health tests and is guaranteed free from all bacteria? Tesco Product Integrity Checked. Worth paying a little extra for, right?

Which makes it one of those where you pay a little more because you know the quality is better. All supermarkets are price-sensitive, but quality issues are the game-changer.

Safety begins at home

All of which should be in ADDITION to your normal health precautions:

  • Don’t handle raw product
  • Wash your hands if you do
  • Wash all utensils and prep areas
  • Keep poultry separate from other foods
  • Never eat it unless it’s properly cooked

It’s keeping healthy by avoiding germs – the best possible way.

You don’t want to be bent double on the loo, or in hospital with dehydration.

Not playing chicken at all.

And weren’t you brought up never to play with your food?

Spreading Corrie virus can be stopped

Girl with TV camera
The show must go on,
contingency plans are already in place

“Deadly manflu virus,” Simon Gregson called it – already signed off for a week as Steve McDonald in TV’s popular soap.

A possible disaster for TV viewers as their favourite programme falters.

Seems the rest of the cast and crew are flaking too, as this mystery illness takes hold in one after another.

Favourite soap in jeopardy?

Will cameras stop?

Not if producer Stuart Blackburn can help it. There are always contingency plans. But so far they stop short of everyone on the Street coughing and spluttering on camera.

Not surprising that it’s spread so fast though.

Sending sick actors off to bed doesn’t take the germs away, whatever they are. Especially on the interior sets – inside the Rover’s Return and everywhere else there’s plenty of places for viruses to hide.

They’re survivors too. Unlike the poor cast. Some types can last for a week or more, clinging to sets and scenery. Microscopically small no-one can see them.

But cough, choke, gag, sneeze – everyone knows they’re there soon enough.

A real headache for the production team. Because lurking germs continue to infect other cast members, even though the first lot are booked off and safe in bed.

A giant-sized job

And can you imagine disinfecting a warehouse-sized building full of intricate nooks and crannies – making sure there’s no germs anywhere on any surface?

Especially up high in the lighting grid. Or round the back of those impressive and convincing scenery walls.

All that electricity. Getting up there with wipe-clean disinfecting liquids is asking for trouble. A sure risk to life and limb too.

Right, it can’t be done.

Not so anyone can be sure.

So is life on the cobbles going to be sniff, splutter for the next few months while this “deadly manflu” does the rounds?

It doesn’t have to be.

A TV studio might be impossible to disinfect by wipe-clean. (Tweet this)

Technology to the rescue

But it’s a breeze with a good fogging system. And a sure-fire way to sterilise the entire place to hospital operating-theatre standards – no viruses or bacteria anywhere. Safe and gone.

It might take a while though. Big studio, lots of space. A couple of hours overnight when everyone’s grabbing some shuteye.

Time enough for a couple of Hypersterilisers to mist up the place and let their magic reach everywhere. A studio is a massive place to treat when you get behind the scenes.

Don’t worry though. Corrie people can be sure it will work.

The mist is hydrogen peroxide, one of the most powerful antimicrobials around.

And it gets everywhere because it’s ionised – a treatment that makes it more like a super-gas – actually a plasma, charged with electrons that get everywhere by physically trying to escape from each other – but grab hold of oppositely charged viruses and bacteria and oxidise them to oblivion.

Sterilised, safe and secure

A one-way ticket if you’re any kind of germ.

But a totally sterilised studio to work in if you’re an actor or camera crew.

99.9999% germ-free. Safe as houses.

Not just the studio either. But dressing rooms, wardrobe, make-up and other work areas – the whole shooting match.

Sure, it might be a few days before Steve and Liz McDonald, Sally Ann and a few others are fully back to normal.

But at least nobody else should come down with it – or anything else. And Kal Nazir can leave the Street without any unhappy lasting experiences.

Your favourite show would be protected.

Diddums! It’s toenail panic at A&E

Bare foot
Ow! Really? Unnecessary A&E visits are costing £100 million a year

Sure it hurts.

But it’s not life-threatening, is it?

Not even a major trauma.

More like an aching nag as you go through the day. It even disappears when you’re not thinking about it.

Everyday non-event

Hardly there at all.

Yet you’re one of the 138 people who crowded into your local A&E this morning – and grinding your teeth as the four-hour waiting period winds on and on.

Grrr!

But just look at that crowd.

Desperation stakes, right?

Just trying to keep pace with a mob like that is why the NHS is hiring overflow doctors at £3,200 a shift and nurses at £1,900 a day.

And before you throw a blue fit, the kind of shift these people are in for is twelve hours. Half a day on your feet, snatched moments for a bite to eat, no chance for coffee – and what do you mean, time to go to the loo?

Well how else to solve the overload except throw money at it?

Your money when it comes down to it – it comes off your taxes.

Yes, it’s damn stupid – but just be careful where you point that finger in choosing why this is happening.

Not enough doctors, why?

Too many patients, why?

Bored, selfish, couldn’t care less

Because all this heaving mass of people reckon A&E is where they need to be.

Accident and Emergency – excuse our snigger.

Not crisis handling centres of last resort but first stop for minor worries and social difficulties.

How minor?

A call to the local Doc reveals – Missed Appointments for February:

  • Doctor 217
  • Nurse 56
  • Blood Tests 55

Too busy with Turkish dancing classes. Or Pilates. Or bridge at the Leisure Centre.

T&N, not A&E

Twinges and Niggles, more like.

And failure of everywhere else to take care of the problem.

No sticking plasters in the bathroom cabinet. Too lazy to go to the chemist. Not prepared to wait at the GP’s clinic. So mosey on down to A&E.

It’s the same with all the emergency services.

They’re there to handle real issues – people dying or under bodily threat.

But ask the cops or the fire brigade.

Overwhelmed by trivia or mischief-making nonsense.

How many hoax calls? You won’t believe it.

Like calling 999 for hiccups, or reporting a stolen snowman.

Your local A&E is the same.

And like all the other blue light services, the professionals who operate it cannot take a chance that maybe your problem isn’t serious.

Total waste of time

Your toenail won’t kill, but everybody in A&E gets handled as though it might.

The only people who will listen to you, right?

The only people who give a damn about whether you’re OK, or not OK – because the rest of us are too caught up in ourselves, or too selfish to even lift a finger.

Yes, there are real issues that happen in A&E. Real life-and-death cases, right there, on the spot.

And we are all of us amazingly fortunate that we have such high powered professionals to catch us when we drop.

Which means A&E is not the problem, we are. (Tweet this)

Man up

Fifty years ago, half our aches and pains would not even have been looked at. Not because doctors back then didn’t have the skills, but because nobody considered them significant.

Part of being grown-up. Man up and forget about it was how most people thought. And going to the Doc was only when it was serious.

Now it’s toenails at A&E.

OK, if that’s the way we Brits have decided we want it, we mustn’t whinge if it costs us a bob or two in taxes.

It’s our fault, not A&E’s.

Ebola can’t kill love

Mother & daughter
Imagine: all the love in the world and not being able to touch

It’s like being in prison. All your personal freedoms taken away. No contact with anyone – especially those you love.

And being under house arrest, all at the same time.

Because in a drastic bid to stop the spread of this dreadful disease, Ernest Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, has imposed a three-day curfew on all citizens – nobody can leave their home until 6.00 pm next Sunday, March 29.

No doubt about it, this is hell for the people of West Africa.

The end of the world

ANY contact is deadly. No hugs, no kisses, no caresses.

No soothing touch, or reassuring hand hold. No wiping fevered brows, or cleaning away vomit. No handling bloodied clothes or sheets. No physical care of any kind.

Worst of all, no washing the bodies of the dead in time-honoured respect.

Just the slightest touch and the disease transfers.

Inside two weeks, you’ll be dead yourself.

Not just heart-breaking, but beyond comprehension.

Because how can it ever make any sense to a people whose whole life is hands-on – touching and feeling and holding – all the soothing, reassuring gestures that people need when they are down? Or even just being themselves together with others?

Courage and resilience

But West Africans are strong people. Remarkably, they can even laugh at it.

A whole culture has sprung up based on non-contact. The no-touch Ebola handshake – the no-hold Ebola hug – friends just grin and take it in their stride.

Well there has to be something to smile about. The only way to survive this terrible disease is to put a ban on love.

Only love at a distance – caring words, eyes across a room.

Imagine being locked up together with your loved ones for three days and everything physical is forbidden.

And the lock is your own, closed shut to support your country. Voluntarily turning your back on all that life is about.

How many of us could even come close to achieving that for 72 hours – and day after day beyond that if any one of the family is sick?

Yet that is the sacrifice these unfortunate people have to make.

The love doesn’t die, it goes on forever. (Tweet this)

Love is the greatest

But the people die and suffer horribly for showing it. Whoever thought that touch could mean so much?

Which is why special walls display handprints across Liberia, Sierra Leone and everywhere else that Ebola is rife. The mark of survivors who have come through it and pledge themselves to helping others.

Nobody can stop love. But they can find other ways of showing it.

Get-ahead dentists see the light

Dental nurse
No cavities, no bacteria,
no viruses, no problem

Well, not exactly, because they’ve got the door closed.

With good reason.

That room is being sterilised by high energy pulses of ultraviolet light at wavelengths between 200 and 320 nanometres.

Any germ in there – any virus, any bacteria – is getting its DNA blitzed to hell and gone, with no coming back.

Five minutes and the surgery is ready for the next patient.

Sterilised for every patient

They call the machine that does it The Rumbler.

Because it rumbles on the floor – all finished in oak at Malmsey Dental Practice – quicker for an easy wipe-down. Staff are hot on hygiene at Malmsey, and the patients love it.

More accurately they love Gloria, the petite New Zealand gap-year student they’ve hired to push The Rumbler around.

Practice manager Pat Hunniford’s niece, she came in one day to see the set-up and grabbed the machine when there was an awkward glitch moment between patients.

The entire dental staff fell in love with her smile, and she made the patients feel like a million dollars as she ushered them in to their appointments.

Especially when they realised that The Rumbler she was wheeling around totally sterilised the place.

With that smile and that reassurance, the Malmsey dentists hired Gloria on the spot, the ultimate natural.

Open wide – and no germs

So now Glorious Gloria wheels the machine to each of the surgeries between patients, shushes the dental staff out for their ten-minute breather, activates the machine, checks the waiting room while it runs, then switches off it to rumble into the next surgery and go find the next patients.

Business is booming.

There are four dentists at Malmsey, and two hygienists.

Thanks to Gloria, they’re booked solid for the next two months – and the waiting list for new patients could re-paper reception.

Because Gloria is way more than a pretty face. An intending med student herself, she tells everyone how the UV rays from The Rumbler sterilise each surgery before every patient, so she’s actually keeping them all safe.

With her Hollywood smile – a cosmetic sales incentive all by itself – she explains how nobody must look at the machine while it’s running to avoid any harm.

Safer, stronger, faster

It’s pulsed UV from a powerful xenon bulb that is way more intense, yet safer than the old mercury vapour lamps they used to use. Faster too, which is how they can sterilise every surgery before every patient.

Pat Hunniford organised the appointments system to allow for the time – and staff feel more motivated with the frequent breaks to make phone calls, catch up on gossip, or simply chill in a way they never could anywhere else.

Again and again they tell Gloria she has a guaranteed career in PR, or modelling, or even in show-biz.

But she just flashes that amazing smile and carries on with The Rumbler.

A whole-room autoclave

It’s not a rumbler at all of course, it’s a Hyperpulse – the same size as a small photocopier – with a tall xenon bulb that pops up and down like a periscope when the machine is activated.

Not many practices have the Hyperpulse, but when the dentists realised they could sterilise their whole rooms as well as their instruments for every patient, it quickly became a must-have. (Tweet this)

Meanwhile summer is coming and they know that Glorious Gloria is going to give them the best attendance records yet.

They also know the clock is ticking.

Gloria’s mind is made up – and she fully intends to be first in line when the University of Auckland opens its doors at the end of February next year.

Sad for the dentists. But they also know they have the happiest – and healthiest – dental patients in the whole of UK.

Where’s the phone app to stop you getting sick?

Girl on smartphone
Germs all around? But now you know they’re there

Seems like it was forever ago, but it was only 2009.

Back when we discovered that pretty well anything we wanted to do could be done on the phone – because “there’s an app for that.”

Even in the days of the horse-drawn smartphone, you could organise and enhance your life more than anyone had ever done before.

More apps, more apps

Today of course, the opportunities have exploded – and personal health is the new magic playground.

Because right now, you can choose from over 50,000 health apps.

These things are amazing – extended even further by personal monitors and wearables.

Every second of the day you can monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, breathing performance – whatever. Fitness and nutrition are the new Holy Grails – and in case you didn’t know you’re not getting any sleep, you can even monitor your insomnia.

Quite what you do with this information is up to you.

Fitness nuts will anguish over it and demand ever better achievement from themselves. Social media junkies will have a ball linking themselves to all kinds of condition from movie heart-throb to lying at death’s door.

Which turns every one of us into cyberchondriacs de luxe.

Yup, mobile health monitoring is the new craze – like in-line skates, or those karaoke-on-TV talent shows.

Warning system

Except, where’s the app that warns you of bacteria? That bings at you if you walk into an infected area?

EXTREME CAUTION,
NOROVIRUS DETECTED,
DO NOT PROCEED FURTHER.

Or the one that tells you a bit more about you raised temperature and thumping heart rate. Together with your sore throat, you’re on the way to this year’s flu. Take two paracetamol and check back with your app in two hours.

It’s not as if the technology doesn’t exist – the boffins have had systems up and running since 2011.

So why can’t we have the mobile equivalent of those terrific old maps that warned “Here be beasties?”

“Here be malaria.” “Here be Ebola.” We need never run into medical trouble again.

Believe us, it’s on the way.

Electronic detection

And surprise, surprise – it works by latching onto the electrons surrounding live bacteria.

Uh huh.

The same electrons that ionised hydrogen peroxide latches onto to kill those same bacteria when misted up by a Hypersteriliser.

So it’s possible.

But not yet available on your iPhone.

Wait for your next upgrade.

Why can’t you blast computer viruses with hydrogen peroxide?

Angry woman with computer
The only good virus
is a dead virus

Yes, a virus on your computer is the pits.

Especially the kind that don’t roll over dead – that keep re-infecting, over and over again.

Which is why, with apologies, there was no blog yesterday.

And why today’s is hung over with this bit of a rant.

Ctrl-Alt-Del

Because a really pernicious virus is like Ebola.

All the vital functions of your computer start shutting down, the entire system is under attack.

And it’s not just what it does to your day – that’s your whole life going down the tubes.

You don’t come back from Ebola unless you’re very lucky. And you don’t come back from a major computer infestation unless you’re very lucky too.

But here’s the bad part.

You can’t even have a go at your computer with hydrogen peroxide.

Super germ-killer that it is, even the industrial strength 30% solution has no effect on infected hard drives or CPUs.

Infuriating that.

Reliable germ-killer

Because hydrogen peroxide can take out any biological virus or bacteria easy-peasy.

Basically like water with an extra oxygen atom, it rips harmful pathogens apart by oxidising them. The extra oxygen atoms release to tear apart their cell structures beyond any chance of survival.

They are gone.

Especially when you use a Hypersteriliser – the thing that mists up the room for an hour or so and annihilates all the germs. Yes, you’re right, it takes sterilising rooms to a whole new level.

So why haven’t they made one for computers?

Clever thing, that Hypersteriliser.

Instead of just spraying willy-nilly – an iffy and very watery fogging method that needs strong concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to work – it mists up the place with an ultra-fine spray that is finer than water vapour.

Ionised into plasma

Finer than just about anything, because it’s ionised.

More eco-friendly too because it allows lighter concentrations – just 6%, the same as you buy in the chemist for disinfecting cuts and scrapes.

But with a massive difference.

Ionising the hydrogen peroxide changes its state to more like a gas, actually behaving like a plasma. Every molecule acquires an electrical charge, buzzing with energy.

As the micro-mist leaves the nozzle, these molecules jump to escape from each other – two objects with the same charge repel each other, remember your O Level science?

That means they disperse quickly, as far away from each other as they possibly can. But contained by the walls and ceiling of the room, so they pile in wherever they can get. On every surface, horizontal or vertical. Underneath them, behind them, and into every crack and crevice.

All the places that normal wipe cleaning – and disinfection – can’t reach.

It’s a dry mist too. Safe with electrical connections – especially sensitive health-care machines. Tiny voltages are unaffected, there’s no moisture around keyboards or input sockets.

The killer charge

That same charge though, attracts the stuff to every opposite-charged object – tables, work surfaces, instruments, machines, floors, walls, ceilings.

Everything floating in the air too. Like microscopically invisible pathogens – viruses and bacteria swarming around to infect things.

The charged hydrogen peroxide is attracted like a magnet – actively reaching out and grabbing hold.

The oxygen atoms release, and rip the pathogen cells to pieces – end of story.

Well, almost.

Because the stuff is just water with an extra oxygen atom, right? So that’s all that’s left – oxygen and water. But in such small quantities, it evaporates almost immediately.

And the silver bullet

Oh, and yes, did we mention the silver?

To give this ionised hydrogen peroxide triple-whammy hyper performance, colloidal silver boosts its killing power by over three times. Any virus hit by that is dead in an instant – including Ebola.

So why can’t we have this stuff for computers? (Tweet this)

Come on, you geeks. How hard can it be?

How cracks in our hygiene will kill us

Arms folded doctor
Germs are so deadly, you can’t take chances, ever

It’s Hollywood’s oldest cliché.

The white-gloved finger running along a surface – and the dirty smudge that results.

Just because a thing looks clean doesn’t mean it is.

Except we know that. Which is why we  attack everything with disinfectants the way we do.

Looks are deceiving

We know about germs – and we know they live in dirt.

But sussing whether a thing is clean or not is still a problem.

If you’ve got the time and patience, you can try one of those fancy CSI jobbies that show up where the bloodstains are. Bioluminescence that glows under UV light. Hidden germs – lurking.

Which is a nightmare that’s even worse in hospitals. HAIs – hospital acquired infections – are the most frustrating and deadly challenge of our age.

Argh, it’s infuriating! Here is a facility specially created to make people well – only for them to catch a superbug and die.

And it happens, even though staff are meticulous with their cleaning procedures. Latex gloves, so nothing is touched directly. Every surface swabbed with bleach.

Recycling bugs

Next second, everyone is down with diarrhoea – even patients in special care and on antibiotics. Especially them, it often seems. Clostridium difficile (c.diff) – a killer bacterium that seems to thrive in health care centres – accounting for around 2,000 deaths a year in UK.

This is a real nasty that seems to lurk everywhere. Swab, scrub, swab, scrub – but repeat infections become a vicious cycle.

Because it’s not just on surfaces, it’s in hidden corners and cracks – those unavoidable crevices between furniture and machines – where hand-wipe cleaning just cannot reach.

Desperate to try anything, Vancouver General Hospital is running tests with a tracker dog. Like an airport bomb-sniffer, Angus the springer spaniel is specially trained to sniff out clostridium difficile wherever it inevitably tries to hide. In the cracks in walls, floors, and under sinks – out of sight, out of mind – until the next uncontrollable dash for the loo.

Effective, sure – and a heart-warming story.

Except the cracks still have to be properly cleaned and disinfected. It takes time to sniff out a whole hospital ward too. And even then, conventional cleaners may not actually kill the bug.

There are questions too – about the wisdom of bringing a dog into a hospital in the first place.

An effective rescue

All problems that dissolve into nothing by using hydrogen peroxide.

Many hospitals will be familiar with hydrogen peroxide fogging to get rid of germs.

Few of them stick with it because it’s a schlep – rooms have to be evacuated for the spray to be applied – and out of action for hours while the stuff dries out.

Unless of course, they’re using a Hypersteriliser.

No more schlep, no more wet spray.

The dry mist from this small and easily handled machine is ionised.

Ultra-fine particles of hydrogen peroxide are charged like a plasma to disperse quickly in all directions. Upwards, outwards, underneath and behind things – penetrating deep into inaccessible crevices – dynamically attracted there, exactly where c. diff likes to hide.

Not just c.diff either – but all viruses and bacteria that may be present.

Charged attraction

Like magnets, the charged particles of hydrogen peroxide actively reach out and grab at the cells of harmful pathogens – ripping through them with oxygen atoms to destroy them completely.

Another super-effective germ killer, colloidal silver, boosts this action so the hydrogen peroxide is three times more effective. A miniscule film of it is left behind on surfaces as an ongoing microbial barrier.

And after its oxidising attack, the hydrogen peroxide itself breaks down into harmless oxygen and water, which quickly evaporates into nothing.

So yes, there might be cracks all round us where germs can hide. But they’re not going to get very far with this kind of protection. Sterilised, safe and secure.

Let’s get HAIs down – and antibiotic-resistant bugs out on their ear.

We’ve hiked our hygiene habits to a whole new level.