The way this winter is already shaping up, get ready for superflu.
No, no, not the German pop group, you’ll find them here.
We mean pandemic superflu – 30 million of us out of action and 80,000 dead. Listed as the UK’s biggest danger after “catastrophic terrorist attacks” in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies.
Certainly looks like we’re getting the weather for it. The El Nino effect is already happening in the Pacific – which means super-cold winter like we saw in 2010.
What makes it a superflu?
However hard medics and researchers try to second guess it, we’re just never ready. For either a superflu virus, or any other kind of fast-spreading superbug.
Yes, we can clobber existing strains – this year’s vaccine protects against the H1N1 “swine flu” virus that struck in 2009, plus two other predicted variants.
But the trouble is, viruses keep mutating all the time. As fast as we come up with the vaccines to throw at them, they develop resistance and start again.
And there are lots of strains. For instance, H5N1 is a deadly virulent bird flu that originated in Asia. It’s rare, but 60% of the people who catch it die.
To make things worse – like the common cold – all flu types spread rapidly. Which is why a pandemic is top of the hit list for natural disasters. When a new flu strain strikes, it takes six months to develop a new vaccine against it.
During that time of course, everyone is exposed. Unprotected except for their own daily hygiene habits. Which is where the worst-case scenario figures come from – 30 million infected, 80,000 dead.
So we’re not just going to be cold, we have to be prepared.
To up our daily hygiene habits and keep those germs at bay.
It starts with soap and water. And now it’s deadly serious. Not just a rinse under the tap, but a proper rub and scrub every time we put ourselves at risk.
Always before meals – and always after the loo. Because this winter, our lives could depend on it.
Our surroundings need anti-germ treatment too. We spend winter all closed up and indoors – sharing the same space, breathing the same air. Any germs in that lot and we’re in for it.
Best is a Hypersteriliser.
Mist up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide and no viruses or bacteria stand a chance. In just forty minutes, they’re oxidised to nothing and the room is totally sterilised, safe.
All germs are gone – to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. That’s 99.9999% destroyed, or 1 in a million.
OK, so the germs are coming.
But they always are.
So it’s not just superflu we’re protecting ourselves against, it’s all the other bugs as well. Especially the superbugs – the nasty ones that have become resistant to antibiotics and other medicines.
MRSA, c.difficile – that other winter misery-guts, norovirus – and all the others.
Vaccine or not, our own hygiene can protect us – come what may.
But don’t forget to rug up well.
It’s going to be cold out there.