Coming home with bugs

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Jetliner descending
Home, safe from germs – or caught a bug?

The euphoria is total, the excitement unbelievable. But now that Lockdown 1.0 is over, we’ve got to get back to reality.

We’ve got to get home too – which can cause a lot of us plenty of adventures.

For instance, if you flew to Uruguay as well as Brazil, you would have been sprayed with insecticide on descent into Montevideo. The airlines call this “disinsection” (dis-insect-ing) and you’ll experience it entering various countries, especially the tropical ones.

That’s fine for killing ordinary bugs, but what about the kind you can’t see? Not just Covid-19, but the more virulent viruses and bacteria that all hot countries seem to have, often contagious and capable of making you quite ill.

Believe it ot not, there is no spray treatment or procedure anywhere. You’ve got to have your shots before you go – and that’s it.

So if you’ve got a bug – or are sitting next to somebody with one – you, and everyone else on your flight could be at risk.

Somehow we’ve all experienced it, haven’t we? “Aeroplane flu” is a fact of life. And it’s almost impossible to prevent. What are they going to do, refuse everyone with a sniffle who tries to board?

It’s a problem and no mistake. All kinds of people could unknowingly carry bugs – and at 600 mph, it’s the fastest way for any new disease to spread itself around the planet.

Six countries currently require pesticide spraying on all inbound flights: Grenada, India, Kiribati, Madagascar, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Another six; Australia, Barbados, Fiji, Jamaica, New Zealand and Panama require the use of residual pesticides – when every surface in the cabin is sprayed with a solution of 2% permethrin shortly before crew and passengers board.

But there’s nothing to stop germs. No spray, no anything to prevent the spread of the usual Brazilian villains – malaria, dengue, yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, and rabies. Or the more usual travel bug and everyone’s least favourite, norovirus.

It’s up to the airlines to decide what action to take. And because it takes time and money, the issue tends to be ignored. Even our own CAA are not too concerned. Yet every five years or so there is a global outbreak of something – and it’s jet travel that spreads it faster than anything else.

What can be done? Not much, if passengers are already carrying a disease or infection – and may not even know that they are.

But the issue can be minimised. Aircraft can be sterilised before every flight, so that at least cabins themselves are not the source of anything.

It may not happen very often at the moment.

But count on it, as we become more susceptible to bugs from elsewhere – particularly those that have developed resistance to antibiotics – it is likely to become the norm.

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Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 14 May 2018 @ 5:32 pm

Originally posted on 14 May 2018 @ 5:32 pm