Most cleaning/sanitising/sterilising procedures are applied to surfaces only – usually just horizontal – worktops, bedding, tables, chair, floors.
Yet 80% of most rooms is air – necessary space for us to move around in. All of it untouched by conventional hygiene disciplines.
Reality is that ALL microbes are airborne most of the time. Think of dust motes you might have seen in a ray of sunshine – billions and billions of them.
Well, microbes are billions of times smaller – too small to be seen. So small they are virtually weightless, riding the air on every swirl and eddy, wafting around you in constant movement.
Think of them as raindrops and you would be walking around soaked all the time, drops hanging off your eyebrows, nose, ears, everywhere. The air surrounds you, you are immersed in viruses and bacteria all the time, some good, some bad.
Which is why misting up treatment areas with hydrogen peroxide is so much more effective than surface applications. It destroys viruses and bacteria on the 20% of all exposed surfaces – AND in the 80% of enclosed air surrounding them.
It’s not just SOME of a room that is sterilised, it’s ALL of it.
OK, let’s pretend it’s happened. Antibiotics don’t work anymore and we’re back in David Cameron’s “Dark Ages.”
Oh, except it’s not a pretence. In more and more places, it’s the reality – all you have do is look at the deadly ebola outbreak currently running riot in Liberia.
Out there, it truly is the Dark Ages, 90% of patients who contract ebola do not survive. They DIE.
And how do they catch it? Follow-up investigations into just about every case point to lapses in washing hands, wearing protective clothing, or handling materials contaminated by the patient.
The problem is, ebola is so virulent it’s particularly lethal at exploiting any weakness in hygiene defences. The smallest lapse or chink in our armour and it’s through.
But properly protected, doctors, nurses and all those amazing professionals in Médecins Sans Frontières are reasonably safe from this dread disease.
See, it’s not antibiotics that’s protecting them. It’s good old-fashioned common sense and realistic commitment to hygiene. Which applies as much now as it ever did in the Dark Ages.
Which is precisely what’s wrong with our attitude back here in our nice, comfortable, ebola-free UK.
Apart from the dedicated few who keep banging on about hand hygiene, the rest of us are bumbling around not even bothering, or so lax about using antibacterial hand gel it’s worse than useless.
Yes, we’re too damn lax for our own good – and the antibiotics we’ve been relying on for so long to get us out of trouble can’t crack it anymore.
Well there’s a surprise. Because for all the care most us take, we might just as well be gallivanting through Liberia, shaking everybody by the hand, kissing them and sharing tea with them.
And then we have the gall to turn round and blame the NHS and the whole medical profession for not protecting us!
Listen folks, if we ever deserve to survive, we have to up our game.
And there’s one way staring us in the face that has been around since the same Nineteenth Century Dark Ages that we’re so terrified about.
What? There’s a defence system that can destroy ALL germs – and WE’RE NOT USING IT! Just how do we ever think we’ll live to see tomorrow?
Come on, now. Get your mind-set beyond just washing and think sterilisation, a process that basically kills ALL microorganisms.
And it’s not rocket science, we already know how to do it. By any one of these methods: heat, ethylene oxide gas, hydrogen peroxide gas, plasma, ozone or radiation.
Dark Ages? We’ve got more defences than Rambo!
Take just one, hydrogen peroxide. Because it’s quick, inexpensive – and with the latest Twenty-First Century spin on how you use it – highly effective.
Hydrogen peroxide works by oxidising action. It destroys bacteria and viruses by smashing their cell systems to nothing. Dead, gone, finished – every pathogen it’s ever been tested on.
And with modern delivery systems, the stuff hyper-warps to 99.9999% effectiveness – or in technical terms, a Sterilisation Assurance Level of Log 6. No just on surfaces either, total room purification.
First it gets ionised and an auto-robot sprays an ultra-fine mist of it into the air.
Because it’s electrostatically charged, it physically latches on to microbes in suspension or on hard surfaces and rips them to shreds by shoving oxygen atoms at them.
Next, because it has colloidal silver added to it, this capability is boosted several times over.
That allows greater economy with lower concentrations and an even finer mist to disperse, electrostatically attracted up through the air and deep into cracks and crevices.
An airborne defence system more effective than antibiotics.
Yes, more effective. Because if you think about it, for antibiotics to work, you have to get sick first. And who wants to take that chance?
And you can use this stuff everywhere – hospitals, hotels, restaurants, aircraft, coaches, food delivery trucks, supermarkets, schools, kitchens, toilets, and of course, at home.
Amazing right? But don’t get lax now. You still need to wash your hands. It’s a big wide world out there, with billions and billions of germs. Come back inside and you’re covered with them again.
You’ve got to rewrite the Good Book, the bit where it says “Physician heal thyself” (Luke 4:23).
Because surprise, surprise – you’re the physician now. So “heal thyself” is meant for you.
Because if you’re watching the news, everyone’s getting jumpy about antibiotics failure –more exactly antimicrobial resistance.
Which means if you run to the Doc for all kinds of things – from a hip replacement to a simple cut – she can’t help you because the medicines she needs are outgunned by superbugs.
This is the “Dark Ages” that the heavies are on about. And it could take twenty years before new superantibiotics can be developed to zap them, according to Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies.
So what do we do in the meantime? Hobble around, gasping our last?
Or shape up and do something about it.
Which is where becoming a pre-doctor comes in.
Arranging your life so you don’t need a doctor in the first place. Taking action before you ring the consulting rooms.
First up, obviously is personal hygiene – living clean, keeping clean, and always washing your hands.
But it’s not enough. What about the space around you, the room you live in? That’s full of microorganisms too. Billions and billions of them.
If you could see them, they be like smog. Smothering everything, making you feel like you should wear a mask.
You can do better. Sterilise the room around you – not the Great Outdoors unfortunately, that’s too big. But everywhere else – at home, at work, at leisure.
Mist up the place with a high-powered oxidiser that destroys all bacteria and viruses that it touches – in the air, on surfaces, in every nook and cranny.
Because if the germs are dead, you can’t get sick. And if you’re not sick, you don’t need as doctor.
Looks easy, feels easy – until it goes wrong. And sooner or later, something always does.
Off-course or off-colour – the tiniest thing could bring you down. And they don’t come any tinier than bacteria and viruses.
So what makes you so sure that washing and scrubbing will keep you safe?
Just like flying, up in the air is where all germs live. And at less than 2 microns across, they’re so light they may never stop floating around – ready to grab hold as you walk through, billions and billions of them.
Which means clean hands are not enough. Not nearly enough. And such old-hat thinking could be the death of us.
Planes use radar to get through storms and other hazards.
But we just walk into room – blind to the norovirus or e.coli hovering in clouds – or the c. difficile and MRSA eddying by the doorway, just waiting to hijack us.
Most of the time, they just swirl off us. Another day in jeopardy, safely overcome.
But often they find a way into our bodies. A gasp of air laughing at a joke. A bite of a cheese-burger. The paper-cut on your finger from your letter of promotion. A common cold or something life-threatening in hospital? Whichever germ gets you first.
And we have no idea they’re there, those germs. Like how about a hotel room with 67.6 colony-forming units of bacteria per square centimetre? And that’s just on the TV remote.
We have no radar and germs are all over us.
Unless we get them first.
Because it ISpossible to sterilise every room completely free of germs before we walk in.
No germs, no risk. Safe.
A completely different approach to hygiene altogether. On top of the usual.
It’s done with hydrogen peroxide – misted up super-fine so it permeates everywhere – electrostatically charged so it actively grabs viruses and bacteria and oxidises them to death.
Fact: and you can ask any doctor – no germ comes back from having extra oxygen atoms shoved at it.
So we might be blind to germs, but we can take them out totally in just 45 minutes a room. Utterly gone. No hazards at all.
Pilots still have clear air turbulence and wind shear to face, invisible perils that could kill.
In a sterile room we face nothing, no hazard, no threat of infection – unless before we enter some pathogen has already found a way inside our body’s defence system.
Yes, you should wash your hands.
But against increasing antibiotic resistant mutations, a new approach is vital if we’re all going to survive.
The best investment you can make in your personal good health is to scrub your fingernails.
Germs, you see – and yes, you’ve heard it all before.
Nag, nag, wash your hands.
BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, YOU’LL DIE!
No seriously, just think about it for twenty seconds.
Right now, a whole string of medicines that doctors usually give us when we’re sick aren’t working any more. Or to be more accurate, those killer viruses and bacteria have developed an immunity to them.
It hasn’t happened yet, but the whole medical profession is getting ready for it. Within the next 10 years, germs from a paper cut could be the end of you.
And that’s you now, the very picture of health – in the gym every day, running 2K at weekends, lots of greens in your diet, and watching your drinking.
But it’s a bit more difficult on the other side of 35. Or 50, or 70. When the body slows down it’s more susceptible to risk. And with all those germs out there going superbug, that risk is getting worse.
Because even BEFORE you get ill you’re surrounded by billions of germs everyday. They’re in the air all around you. And when your lungs weaken because of the smoking, or your heart strains more because of the extra 10Ks body weight, those germs are going to nail you in preference to anybody younger.
Unless you nail them first.
Which is a whole new hygiene level we’ve got to get used to in the future.
Scrub your nails?
Not good enough. If you want to be safe, you’ve got to scrub the world around you. Everything you touch, even the very air you breathe. Because that’s where the germs are, waiting to get you.
But don’t worry. More and more places are becoming safer because they’re sterilised – pathogen no-go zones, toally free from germs – hotel rooms, doctor’s surgeries, school canteens, luxury coach rides to Germany.
Inside each of them, a super-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide oxidises all germs and bacteria to nothing. No germs, no infection, absolutely sterile.
Which is kind of reassuring when you’re getting on a bit. Once you’re over 80, it’s all that much more likely SOMETHING will upset the apple-cart. So it’s nice not to know it won’t be germs.
Time to nag those youngsters into looking after themselves a bit more than they do.
No germs, healthy living, they can live for ever – which is what their soul is telling them they can do anyway. And why not? They’re entitled to live to a ripe old age as much as you are.
You glance round. At the soft drapes and high ceilings. The expensive-looking chandeliers.
You’ve watched Downton Abbey, you know how tricky those things are to clean.
A confident grin from the maître d’.
They have a robot.
A nifty thing on wheels that they roll in when everyone’s gone. Close all the windows and doors and the thing mists up the place – an ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide. Seems no germ can withstand it. Not even this ebola stuff that has everyone in a tizz.
Apparently this mist stuff is ionised too. So it rises up, into, and under everything. With charged particles that grab hold of bacteria and viruses – shoving oxygen atoms at them. Dead and gone, unable to touch anybody – and that means you.
And they do this every day, so you’re safe. The whole restaurant, the kitchen, the loos – even the cloakroom.
When they open the doors, you’re into a place where germs can’t touch you. Unless that bloke with the sneeze on Table Four brought something in with him. Not so likely to get to you though, if the whole place is sterilised.
So you can relax and indulge. Even you with your sensitive tummy. Dare to be different and get away with it.
Like the trout almondine. If you’ll pardon the expression, it’s to die for. Meaning of course that it’s heavenly.
And as you knew when you sat down, you deserve it.
Well now, just think. How many medical issues have you ever had that did NOT involve medicine?
Especially an injury or corrective surgery. Can’t take chances with infection, right? So there’s usually a ton of antibiotics pumped into you, to make sure you’re safe.
Same thing if you catch a bug and your body takes strain. The Doc has you on get-better medicine so fast, you’re back in action in days – or if it’s serious, a couple of weeks tops.
Except if you’ve checked the headlines lately, the medicos are not looking so positive.
The antibiotics are holding up for now, but more and more nasties are successfully developing immunity. You get the shot or take the pills – and pretty much nothing happens.
Which means you don’t get better. Infection doesn’t get corrected. You could even get sicker.
Suddenly all that hand-washing stuff has new significance, not so? And your mind goes doolally wondering how effective clean hands are against raging MRSA. Or if you want to be really panicky – full-blown Ebola fresh off the plane from Gatwick.
If you said “Not a lot”, you’d be right. And disinfecting everything in sight is not going to help much either. Because once a resistant bug finds its way into your system, you’re on your own.
So you’ve got to stop it happening in the first place. Destroy germs before they destroy you.
Which means where you are, and everywhere around you. Not just the worktops, floors and surfaces – the space you move around in too. Because there’s more germs in the air than there are anywhere else. It’s 80% of your room space – and they’re riding the breeze, every little microscopic waft of it.
But you do have a defence
One sure way to stop germs is with a superfine mist of hydrogen peroxide.
Yup, the same stuff your own body produces to fight infection.
Except out in the open it’s one-on-one, so that viruses and bacteria don’t stand a chance. The hydrogen peroxide has them for breakfast – totally destroyed, gone.
Yes, gone. Killed by oxidising. The oxygen atoms released in the spray simply rip them to pieces.
So at least now , if you do have a mishap, you’re in sterile surroundings. Less chance of anything taking you over and bringing you down.
Reassuring while those hard-working med teams bust a gut researching for super-performance medicines to keep us all safe, all the time.
Just to turn your mind upside down, in the microworld of bacteria and viruses, size is irrelevant.
The staggering thing is the numbers.
Billions and billions of these things are all over us, all the time, so when are we going to take them seriously?
For a truly mind-numbing perspective, take a look at the animation at Cells Alive. It’s a simple depiction of how many microorganisms can fit on the head of a pin – a space that they calculate as being just 2mm in diameter.
Get right down to ten thousand times magnification and the place is teeming with E. coli, Staphyococcus, Ebola virus and the diminutive Rhinovirus – as an image enlarged a million times, not much more than the ball of your thumb, just 0.02 microns.
All of them deadly, and all of them so small that they’re easily missed – even by the strictest disinfecting procedure. If your cleaning cloth was just another 5mm to the left…
For an even more sobering comparison, take a look at Engineering Toolbox’s table of particle sizes, and the summary of how they behave.
Now imagine, at that size, how sensitive they are to air movement, like the almost nothing whisper of your hand dropping by your side.
Yes, you’re right. It means that basically they’re ALL airborne and move around with ease, taking maybe years to settle – and sometimes never settling at all.
THEY’RE IN THE AIR!
Yet just about every cleaning procedure we follow is cleaning hands, clothing, surfaces, floors… What about the space around us that doesn’t get touched? The moving space? The headroom? The air?
No wonder those nasties like MRSA and Legionnaire’s disease spread so easily. Even with meticulous hygiene, there’s nothing to stop them.
Nothing conventional, that is.
Which is why we keep banging the drum for total room sterilising with hydrogen peroxide. You can’t scrub air – and even if you could, a sponge and water wouldn’t crack it. You’ve got to kill the germs, not give them a bath.
A mega-challenge, yes. But one you can meet in just 45 minutes at a cost of around 80p for an average-sized room. And at that rate, less than you might spend on mop and bucket doing a supermarket or commercial kitchen.
And if it’s that easy, why do we ever allow ourselves to fall sick again?
There’s this dread disease coming and we’re all going to die.
First of all, it’s got to get here – and we’re protected by an alert and watchful health emergency service.
That poor lady on the flight from Sierra Leone? Sadly she died, but not from Ebola – the plane was quarantined and everybody on it was checked and registered.
Second, we’re a lot more fortunate than Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.
No super-challenged medical teams over-stretched against impossible odds. No under-funded hospitals or emergency clinics. No ambulance shortage or emergency workers scared for their lives.
Most important of all, we lead healthier lives. We eat healthier, so our bodies are stronger. We’re more aware of hygiene and preventing infection in the first place.
It’s still not enough though.
We know about washing hands, but how many of us do it properly? A proper scrub, not just a rinse.
And how about the towel we use – a disposable paper one, or the same old cloth hanging on the bathroom door?
Or how about antibacterial hand gel?
Oh sure, we all know about it and use it whenever we remember.
But did you know it takes a minimum of 30 seconds to work? Or that you’re right back where you started once you touch your face, your hair, or the nearest door handle?
Yes, we’re careful. But we’ve got to be carefuller.
Because it’s not just Ebola, it’s a whole slew of other viruses and bacteria queuing up to have a go at us. Germs that have become resistant to antibiotics. Killers just as deadly.
Of course they can’t touch you if your hygiene is good.
So ask yourself, is it?
And are you really watchful?
Do you wipe dust away with your fingers? Do you tap your teeth with your pen? Do you put your keys in your mouth when you bring the shopping through the front door? Have you looked at the face of your phone after you’ve made a call?
No germ can get you if it can’t make contact – through a wound, through your skin itself, breathed in or swallowed. That’s why the Ebola teams wear full body protection. So the disease can’t touch them.
We’ve got to think the same – keep our bodies protected so germs can’t get us. Like all the things you try to do when you’re away on holiday. Be careful, remember you’re in a strange place, your body does not have built-up local resistance.
Don’t go swimming in dirty water. Don’t eat food that you sense is off or not cooked properly. Careful what you drink, if necessary take the cap off yourself – insisting that it has a cap in the first place.
Keep yourself clean. Avoid contact with the body fluids of others – don’t let yourself be sneezed on, no drinking from the same glass, super caution when you change junior’s nappy. In other words, don’t be careless.
Because it’s not Ebola that’s going to get you. It’s norovirus or e.coli. Really unpleasant – and an unnecessary price to pay for sloppy hygiene.
We need to use that. Let the worry it causes make us more careful.
We all know what proper hygiene is – about washing hands, covering your face when you sneeze and your mouth when you cough.
Except we get slapdash with it. Super sloppy and neglectful.
Run a bit late in the morning and we all cut corners. Nah, we’ll be safe enough, take a chance.
Maybe yes, this time.
But with ebola out there, don’t be too sure.
The thirty seconds you save could cost you your life.
What kind of crazy chance is that?
Better to be safe, even up our hygiene level a notch. A big notch.
Because it’s not just ebola, there’s a whole stack of nasties that are adding to the incurable list right now. Deadly killers that no longer respond to antibiotics.
Time to lay this one on you. Another daily hygiene habit that could save your life.
Sterilise the environment around you.
Or make sure it’s done – particularly at work or school – where there are lots of people close together in an enclosed space, all breathing the same air and drinking the same tea.
It’s incredibly easy too – and you don’t have to do nothing. Not nothing, not nothing, not no-how.
Every night when you go home, shut down procedure includes misting the place up with hydrogen peroxide – a super-fine ionised cloud that gets in everywhere and oxidises bacteria and viruses to nothing. Including ebola, if it’s around.
Next morning the place is sterile and everybody’s safe – unless they had an infection beforehand – that, you need a doctor for.
You see, hydrogen peroxide won’t cure you, even though it’s also the body’s own germ-fighter. But you are protected from anything new that might have been in the air or lurking on a table top.
All done by the auto-robot that sits in the room and works while you sleep. Well, not for that long either – around 45 minutes for the average room – at a cost of 85p.
Less than a quid and your boss can stop moaning about people pulling sickies.
So you see? Ebola might be scary, but nothing is ever all-bad.