Coming home with bugs

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.

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

Super-healthy Super Kids

Super kid
Look Ma, no germs! When you’re healthy, the whole world is yours

As schools go, it’s not big.

350 kids – Year Three to Year Six.

Previous Ofsteds were “Good” and the last one “Outstanding”.

But the thing a lot of parents are starting to notice is, none of the children get sick.

On the wall next to the bursar’s office is a plaque. “For the safety of children and staff, the school premises is sterilised every day in rotation.”

They have to thank the Head Teacher for that. Pat Whatshername. Because she knew 350 kids together in one enclosed place was a sure-fire breeding-ground for colds and collywobbles.

She bullied and cajoled the governors to buy the four auto-robots that spray the place with hydrogen peroxide, four classrooms at a time, every evening after hours.

Buying them would have been a no-go. For a big capital expense like that in one hit, the County Council would have blocked it.

But the Head got smart. Found a way to lease them and got the parents to stump up the cash. Presented the idea to Mums and Dads in her red sweater and boots, with the Princess Grace hair from way back.

The Mums were a bit iffy in their tracky bottoms and sneakers – but the Dads lapped it up. Especially the bit about only £1 per child per month – less than the tea and biscuits they shelled out for every meeting.

So every night, Komnan – he’s from Ghana – sets up the four machines in a different classroom, shutting all the windows and doors. Each of them clicks on and mists the room for around 45 minutes. Toilets and changing rooms are smaller, they get 30 minutes.

The hydrogen peroxide spray is ionised and boosted with colloidal silver. It spreads up and out, destroying germs in mid-air, reaching deep into cracks and crevices.

At a 99.9999% kill rate, no viruses or bacteria survive. If there are any around, it’s when the kids bring in new ones from outside, next day.

Last thing before he goes home, Komnan puts all four machines in the hall – where assemblies, gym and school meals take place – nobody’s coming down with gastro in here.

An “Outstanding” Ofsted – and some really bright kids. With more bounce and go than most you might meet.

Being healthy has to be the answer.

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

Getting sick on the plane: the good news and bad news

Travelsick woman
Up and away – and down with a bug

So you’re off somewhere nice on one of those shiny new airliners – a Boeing 787 Dreamliner or and Airbus 380. Jet-set you, all ready to enjoy yourself.

Just possibly as you board, a little thought niggles you. These are long-haul aircraft – you’re going to be sitting here for eight hours or more. Breathing the same air, sharing the same space as several hundred other people.

What if you catch a germ?

Actually, chances are pretty good that you won’t. Not from the aircraft anyway. Up in the sky you’re breathing air that’s completely refreshed 20 times an hour, purified by hospital grade high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

Those cold or flu like feelings you sometimes get are nothing to do with infection. It’s just how your body reacts after several hours in a bone-dry, oxygen thin cabin atmosphere. Sometimes they linger, sometimes they don’t.

But the filters take out 99.97% of bacteria in your immediate area. In fact every seven rows has its own independent ventilation system. So if something makes you feel queasy on a flight, it’s not from the air being pumped at you.

Fellow passengers though, are another matter. Not from how healthy they are, but from what they do. If you’re going to catch a bug from the person sitting next to you, eight hours is still a very short exposure time. Unless of course, they’re sneezing all over you.

Consider though, the environment that you’re in. Sure, you’re going somewhere nice, but for the next eight hours you’re a prisoner to your seat. You might go to the loo to stretch your legs, but most of the time you’re just sitting there, you can’t really move.

OK, so what happens with trolley service and meals? You’ve had your drink, a good holiday vodka and orange juice – now they come at you with a full tray of dinner. So where do you put your plastic glass and drink can?

Only one place, the seat-back pocket.

Don’t go there. Because that is the place everyone puts everything. And if the cabin crew aren’t actually collecting trash at the moment you need them to, that’s where it all goes. Along with your tissues, your book, the well-thumbed magazine, the flight safety guide and…

Oh, oh, there’s the seat belt sign, just as Mum is changing a nappy. Into the seat pocket it goes, along with the half-finished Mars bar from a previous flight, an apple core and a wad of well-chewed gum.

Not from your flight of course. That stuff was lifted out before you boarded. But the residue is still there, the stuff you can’t see. And because nobody can wash their hands just sitting there, it’s on the tray table as well. On the armrests and seat back. Invisible MRSA and e. Coli. Or maybe worse.

And don’t even think about the blankets and pillows.

Yet all the while the HEPA units are pumping out fresh, filtered air. You’re safe, but you’re not safe, all at the same time. Though that’s mostly on long-haul. A lot of regional jets don’t have the same filter units. That quick hop to Ibiza or Magaluf might be more iffy than you’d like.

Which makes hygiene on the ground more critical than airlines think. A quick wipe down with an antiseptic cloth will not sort germs in the seat pocket or upholstery. Because research already shows viruses and bacteria can survive in those areas for up to a week.

There is one sure way to remove them though.

Sterilise the whole aircraft pre-flight.

Mist up the entire interior with a powerful oxidising spray of hydrogen peroxide in which harmful pathogens cannot survive. Dispersed by mobile auto-robots for the main cabin interior, with a generous squirt from hand-held units into every seat pocket.

All before anybody boards.

That mist kills 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria in the air – and on every surface it makes contact with – head cushions, armrests, hand rails, window covers, overhead lockers – everything.

Electrostatically charged, it reaches into corners and crevices too – especially tray tables, even though they’re folded away. Boosted by colloidal silver to perform better.

You want to eat off that? You can.

Just make sure though, that your airline actually does all this.

Otherwise, if you’re worried – sit tight, use alcohol hand-wipes – and save your appetite for when you’re back on the ground.

The HEPA units will keep you safe until then.

Originally posted on 14 May 2018 @ 5:32 pm