C. auris HAI superbug safely eliminated without moisture residue

Reassured doctor
C. auris has no chance against against ionised hydrogen peroxide – all other HAIs too

Hospitals can heave a sigh of relief. The new and deadly fungal infection c. auris CAN be removed and eradicated.

Seriously ill and long-term patients are now better protected from this particularly virulent killer. Not yet on everybody’s radar, but with a 60% mortality rate, this deadly newcomer is rapidly causing concern.

Candida auris (C. auris) is also difficult to diagnose, often mistaken for something else. Particularly in blood tests, the usual screening for invasive candida infections. A specific laboratory test – MALDI TOF MS – is needed to make sure.

Anti-fungal resistance

But what makes C. auris especially dangerous is its resistance to the 3 main classes of anti-fungal drugs – amphotericin, azoles and echinocandins.

A maverick of its own, C. auris behaves more like a nosocomial bacteria than a fungus. It sticks easily to surfaces and transfers from patient or care-giver to patient. Contaminating chairs, bedrails, catheters and patient monitoring equipment.

Thankfully, like a bacteria, it can be taken down  – effectively neutralised by advanced cleaning techniques such as UV radiation and exposure to hydrogen peroxide.

UV is an easy first choice because it is dry to use. Fungi are notorious for thriving in wet conditions. So liquid cleaners including hydrogen peroxide risk accelerating further growth as fast as they destroy it.

UV however does have the disadvantage of short range and only working in line of sight. Radiation units have to be moved close and frequently to be effective. And even then, cannot reach under or behind objects where spores can escape.

Turbo-charged effectiveness

A better option is ionised hydrogen peroxide dry mist. Plasma treatment similar to the autoclaves used to sterilise surgical instruments. But, easily deployed by an automatic mobile unit, a lot less unwieldy.

A single press-button actively disperses the mist. A mild, non-toxic 6% solution similar to the over-the-counter type sold in Boots or Tesco as an antiseptic, skin treatment or mouth wash.

Ionising however turbo-charges its capability. Releasing further antimicrobials in the form of hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.

Charged particles jostle to escape each other – rapidly dissipating in all directions. They fill the air, ram hard up against all surfaces, walls, ceilings, countertops. And push actively under and behind, deep into cracks and crevices. If necessary, a separate nozzle can reach into tight places and ducting. Typically behind wash basins and scrub-up units.

Whole room sterility

Because of their charge, the hydrogen peroxide particles actively reach out and grab oppositely charged pathogens. Fungi, viruses, bacteria – everything is clamped in a death-grip, ripped apart by oxygen atoms  and completely destroyed.

Forty minutes or so later, depending on room size, all that’s left is oxygen and a small quantity of water. So small that it evaporates before it even begins to fall.

The room itself is sterile – germ-free to a Log-6 Sterility Assurance Level. No more C. auris – no more pathogens of any kind. Safe and secure for those fragile patients so at risk to ANY kind of infection.

The mild solution ensures no damage or harm to any surface, however delicate. And the dry mist presents zero risk to digital and electrical connections, however sensitive.

The giveaway that it’s worked is that all smells are gone, easily confirmed by swab tests or ATP meter. C. auris is gone and not coming back. Nor is any other pathogen.

All clear!

Picture Copyright: megaflopp / 123RF Stock Photo

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 28 April 2017 @ 1:51 pm

Originally posted on 28 April 2017 @ 1:51 pm

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.

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 1 September 2018 @ 9:58 pm

Originally posted on 1 September 2018 @ 9:58 pm

How dentists stop germs straight in off the street

Mouth with germs
Don’t worry, you’re safe from germs.
Every new patient gets a sterile room.

Oh, oh – 2.30.

Time to see the dentist.

A quick in-out, before that cavity drives you crazy. Fifteen minutes tops – problem sorted.

Let’s hope it’s a quickie

You breeze in, five minutes before the time. Nervous, can’t handle waiting, other people staring at you. All rugged up ‘cos it’s winter outside – slushy-gloomy.

The nurse smiles. Richard Hammond teeth whitening. Doctor will see you now.

You clump in, not smiling. Thrilling drilling is not your thing.

The Doc smiles too. Sun-tanned, just back from two weeks in Calabria. Sit back in the chair. Tilt, tilt, tilt. His new scenic of Scilla and Castello Ruffo is on the ceiling. Soothing for nervous types like you. He gives you wraparound specs, but they fog up.

This is it, the moment of tooth.

You can’t see anything, but he’s not drilling. Just tinkering around your mouth with a probe.

And then it hits you.

How safe are you?

The face mask, the latex gloves. To protect him or you?

You’re straight in off the street, still in your coat, pavement grime on your calf boots. If he drills, won’t the germs get in there?

That’s an exposed cavity – sure his instruments are all sterilised – but how safe is that room?

Your feet wiggle, like you can feel the mud through the leather.

Ew!

Lots of people come in here. 15-minute appointments back-to-back, just like yours. Nine-to-five, that’s eight hours – less one off for lunch – 28 patients a day. 28 people with mud on their boots, but you never see anyone sweep the floor.

And all that other street dirt too. Grime in the air that marks collars and cuffs. Germs. All swept in by the gale that happens every time the street door opens. All over everyone’s clothes, their skin…

They think it’s all over

“There we are, all done.”

The dentist is smiling as the chair tips upright. He takes off the wraparounds. Calabria on the walls too. Boats and Italian fishermen.

He helps you out of the chair, comes with you to the door, the nurse too. They both smile – Hollywood brilliance.

The nurse has a remote in her hand. They step out with you and close the door. What’s going on?

The nurse holds up the remote. “My turn?”

He nods and grins at you, kinda schoolboy silly.

“A Captain Kirk moment. Set phasers to stun.”

The nurse presses a button. They both leer at the closed door. Hollywood smiles like movie lights.

The Doc hold up his watch and leans against the wall.

“It only takes five minutes. Our new toy. We call it Starship Enterprise.”

You frown, running your tongue round your teeth. There’s a new roughness where the hole was. Fresh amalgam. And you didn’t even hear the drill. Is something wrong?

The Doc looks embarrassed. Did he notice the mud on your boots?

High-tech hygiene

“It’s our UV light generator, in the corner where your feet were.”

You vaguely remember a thing like a photocopier.

The schoolboy look comes back.

“After every patient, we pop out here and press the button. This super-bright xenon light pops up and pulse-pulse-pulse, kills all the germs it can see – anywhere and everywhere, on the chair, on the instruments, up in the air, all over the place.”

Super-schoolboy now. A gadget freak for sure – or a video game player. Full Hollywood grin too. Super-Jaws.

“Viruses, bacteria, bugs, all gone. And a five minute breather, while we stay out here safe.”

Your turn to grin. No worries about the boots. No worries about anything, you can’t remember.

But you’re curious. Starship Enterprise? UV?

The Doc nudges the door.

“C’mon, take a butcher’s.”

You were right, just like a photocopier – Enterprise is just fantasy. The only difference is a circular hatch on the top. Closed. Where the light lives.

Boys’ toys

He pats it, like it’s a new C320.

“It’s called a Hyperpulse. It bombards the room with high intensity UV light which germs can’t survive. Attacks their DNA – bye bye, bacteria. Every new patient gets a sterile room.”

You smile and your tongue finds the rough spot. Too geeky for you. But not tooth hurty any more. You’d better get back.

No probs, they’re already calling the next patient.

Straight in off the street, yeah.

But safe as houses.

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 8 December 2018 @ 3:52 pm

Originally posted on 8 December 2018 @ 3:52 pm

Ah, but no superbug survives hydrogen peroxide

No way any germs are coming back from treatment like this, ma’am

The writing is on the wall, folks. In letters larger than life.

Two alarm bell happenings this week underline it.

The return to UK of a British Army nurse who contracted Ebola on the mercy mission in Sierra Leone and her admission to the Royal Free Hospital.

And the latest “Antibiotic Apocalypse” update that mutating bacteria are making our medicines useless – a potentially greater threat than Ebola.

Chief Medic warning

This warning comes from no less than Professor Dame Sally Davies herself – Chief Medical Officer for England – that we need to up our game in hygiene, or risk killing ourselves by carelessness.

Actually, Dame Sally’s main thrust is for drug companies to get back into research developing new antibiotics – a new super-class to take on the superbugs.

No new antibiotic has hit the market since 1987. And it’s unlikely to. There’s more money to be made manufacturing pills that patients need to take several times a day for the rest of their life – than meeting the cost of a drug that may only be used in emergencies.

Which spotlights the scary elephant in the room – that medicines don’t work anymore.

Hence, says Dame Sally, we need to rediscover hygiene.

“Half of men don’t wash their hands when they go to the lavatory – which takes the bugs from the bum, or the prick, to the tap – to the door handle – and then out potentially to food and friends. We have to take this seriously.”

Washing hands saves lives

Yes, washing hands is again the issue. Because prevention is better than cure.

So is washing and disinfecting everything that gets used in hospitals – beds, instruments, equipment, furniture, everything.

And did we mention the walls, ceiling and floor?

That too – even the airspace that fills most of any hospital room – which never gets cleaned because you can’t hand-wipe empty nothing.

Truth is – like antibiotics themselves – wipe cleaning is no longer up to the job.

If we’re going to rediscover hygiene, we’ve got to take on those killer bugs everywhere we can. Which means not just out in the open – but underneath, behind and on top of things – plus the cracks and crevices in between.

That sexy coil of wire for the blood pressure machine? It gets handled 20 times a day and what is it cleaned with? Formaldehyde is banned as a carcinogen, bleach attacks the plastic insulation – and anyway, to wipe that cable after every use would pull its soldered ends apart in weeks.

Sterilising technology

OK, how about UV? There’s this American company jumping up and down about the UV robots it has supplied to Sierra Leone which zaps germs in minutes, sterilising everything including Ebola.

It’s a nifty machine and a real step forward (something like this). No viruses, no bacteria – pretty well sterile. But it’s not too good getting underneath, behind or on top of things, because you can’t bend light rays. You need to keep shifting it around to be effective.

So? Fog the place up with hydrogen peroxide. It attacks germs by oxidising them, job done. Like no virus or bacteria survives being ripped apart by oxygen atoms tearing through it.

Especially if you go the whole hog.

All germs – gone

Don’t just spray the stuff in the air – ionise it in a Hypersteriliser, so it disperses faster, finer than water droplets, almost like a plasma. So it actively reaches out and grabs pathogens on the fly, destroying them in mid-air.

So it’s electrostatically attracted deep into cracks and crevices, where hand wipes cannot reach.

So it sterilises the air, where most germs normally are. You’ve seen grains of dust fly around – every bug in the universe is microscopically smaller than that – so don’t let anyone tell you that germs aren’t airborne all the time.

So it’s dry and in a mild concentration, that doesn’t attack surfaces or harm electrical connections – plugs, sockets, keyboards and stuff.

So it decomposes into nothing afterwards, just water and oxygen.

Oh yes, and boost it with colloidal silver while you’re doing all this – so it performs three times better. So that an ultra thin residue of silver is left on all surfaces afterwards, an antibacterial barrier for ongoing protection.

Is that rediscovering enough?

Available now

You can destroy all pathogens right now, just by pressing a button – in as little as forty minutes, depending on room size. (Tweet this)

And it makes the place sterile to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6 –that is, 99.9999% germ-free. Safe, sterile and secure.

It won’t stop superbugs having a go at you if they get inside your body.

But sure as heck, it will prevent them getting to you in the first place.

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 31 August 2018 @ 9:19 pm

Originally posted on 31 August 2018 @ 9:19 pm

Mad cows invade hospitals

Woman mimes c ow
Infection is no joke – you’re right to be mad

Somewhere out there, according to a recent study by the BMJ, around one in every 2,000 Britons is a carrier of CJD proteins – the building blocks of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and human form of “Mad Cow” disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Cast your mind back, and you’ll recall BSE was a disaster for British agriculture that led to a 10-year ban on British beef across the EU and 4.4 million cattle being destroyed.

But right now it’s not BSE that’s making cows mad. And believe us, they’re not just mad – they’re out-of-their-skulls furious.

Antibiotics junkies

Seems we human beings cannot stop ourselves messing around with things beyond our control – especially the way we use antibiotics any time a biological challenge pops up to test us.

Antibiotics again, huh?

Give it five years, they’ll be our biggest health problem. Across the world, doctors are tearing their hair out because a whole slew of these vitally necessary wonder-drugs are just not working any more.

Resistant superbugs

Using them for everything has triggered a new wave of pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics – and all of a sardine, doctors are thrown back into Nineteenth Century treatment methods.

Which is exactly why the cows are mad.

We should be too – mad at ourselves at being so stupid. Because over-reliance on antibiotics is coming back to bite us, big time.

All that panic about Ebola because there’s no cure? The day is coming when you could die from a paper cut. Because it’s not just our stupid selves who keep insisting on antibiotics – it’s the whole farming industry worldwide.

Widespread over-use

For instance, five years ago, 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US were used on farms. Today, it’s even more.

80%!

So we bring it on ourselves.

Because, right on cue – surprise, surprise – it now seems that a livestock variant of the MRSA superbug has jumped from farm animals to hospitals and baby clinics, with three instances recently recorded in Scotland.

Now MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) itself is bad enough – major grief for hospitals trying to prevent post-op infections and other medical uphill.

But this is strain CC398, a particularly nasty variant – a super-MRSA – way more virulent and certainly life-threatening. You’re right to be mad about it, just like the cows.

Especially when you realise that antibiotics are so widely used on farms, they’re regularly included in feedstuffs to boost easier production of healthier animals without the hassles. Not just for when they’re ill, but every day for breakfast, lunch and supper. No wonder it’s 80%.

And a lot of the time, completely unnecessary.

Symptoms, not cause

You see, chucking antibiotics into feedstuffs is treating symptoms, not cause.

It’s no even treating – it’s anticipating. Pouring antibiotics down the poor animals’ throats because they MIGHT develop an infection.

Talk about compounding the problem.

Because it’s not just strain CC398 – just to put your mind at ease, there are 270,000 strains of MRSA, each potentially harmful.

Yet without using antibiotics or chucking anything down their throats, it’s simple enough to treat the same animals’ living quarters so they’re completely sterilised – to lower the infection threshold to nothing.

No germs, no infections. What’s the problem?

We can do exactly the same with our own environment too – reducing our own dependence on antibiotics. It’s attacking the problem BEFORE anything happens – treating cause, not symptoms.

Before, not after

There’s lots of ways to do it.

With Ebola in the news, a lot of action is happening around hospital robots that irradiate UV light, destroying viruses and bacteria in the air before they get near the patient. Expensive, but effective.

A lot of other places in the US use ozone generators, particularly in old age homes. It destroys pathogens by oxidising them to nothing – ripping them apart with extra oxygen atoms.

Even better is hydrogen peroxide, another super-oxidiser. By ionising the stuff into an ultra-fine dry-mist spray, it spreads upwards and outwards, actively grabbing at pathogens by electrostatic charge.

It reaches everywhere too. Up to the ceiling, into all the cracks and crevices. Sterilising the average room in around twenty minutes flat. No germs, no anything – especially MRSA.

So if you had that available in your hospital, wouldn’t you be mad if they didn’t use it?

It’s not just the cows – it’s all of us. We need to take our hygiene habits up a level.

Then we know we’ll be safe by prevention, antibiotics or not.

Silly old moos!

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 21 July 2018 @ 2:58 am

Originally posted on 21 July 2018 @ 2:58 am

Germ Wars: auto-sterile defences move closer

Asking doctor
Emergency time is short – how long do we have to get completely sterile?

HAIs on the increase.

Antimicrobial resistance more unchecked than ever before.

The beginning of the end?

Not if Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn have anything to do with it.

They’ve just taken delivery of one of those American UV sterilising jobbies for evaluation. The thing that zaps pathogens with a blast of pulsed xenon.

Turning the tide

Way to go, QEH.

ANY move against infections is hugely good for all of us.

Especially the automated kind.

Because disinfecting and sterilising by hand is not just a thankless labour intensive schlep.

It takes forever and it’s too easy to miss bits.

High touch surfaces and work tops of course – but what about underneath things? Or behind medical equipment with all those coils and tubes and wires? Or the massive bit that never gets done because you can’t scrub empty space – the surrounding air in every room?

Zap! The American jobbie will do most of it. The UV rays attack virus and bacteria cell DNA, destroying it almost immediately. So it’s quick too, everything in sight sterilised in under ten minutes.

Short, sharp hits in places with a time crunch, wow.

But not everywhere.

UV’s Achilles heel

Because the UV rays only work in straight lines radiating out from the machine. Underneath and behind things still need attention. Follow-up hand-wipes on grab-rails and handles for instance.

A mega-step in the right direction though. Nailing anywhere from 60 – 80% of pathogens dead in minutes.

Especially those in the air. So microscopically small – but floating around – lying in wait in the biggest undefended space in any hospital room – more than 80% in some high-ceilinged wards.

Zap! Sorted. Zap! Sorted.

Imagine one of those in a hard-pushed A&E. No time to catch your breath, the next patient is in for treatment stat – and at least most of the place is sterilised. A fleet of smaller, inexpensive versions like the Hyperpulse, could chop infections massively.

So is 100 percent auto-sterile possible? Yes, with hydrogen peroxide plasma. (Tweet this)

Total room sterilisation

Ask the team in the haematology unit at Salford Royal NHS. For two years now, they’ve been holding infections in check with Hypersteriliser machines.

OK, they do take forty minutes to do a room, not ten.

But the ultra-fine hydrogen peroxide plasma mist that they disperse clobbers all viruses and bacteria completely. Any room treated with these things is sterile to Log 6 – 99.9999% of all germs totally annihilated.

Like a kind of super-gas, the hydrogen peroxide ions are charged – each molecule actively trying to get away from the same negative charge of all its neighbours. This spreads the plasma everywhere, forcing it hard against walls, ceilings, beds and furniture. Deep into cracks too, where hand-wipe cleaning cannot reach.

In the same instant, the negative charges actively reach out to grab positively-charged viruses and bacteria, releasing oxygen atoms at them that rip them to shreds. Boosted with silver, this action is multiplied three times over and more.

Forty minutes and it’s all over – any remaining mist reverting to harmless oxygen and water, which immediately evaporates. It can’t cure the patient, but at least you know the room you put them in is safe and totally sterile.

The war of course, never stops.

But it’s reassuring to know we have some effective weapons.

Red-faced Rudolf forced to take a rain check

Sneezing Santa

Christmas emergency: a serious infection alert has cancelled this year’s traditional delivery

Sorry folks, that famous and long-awaited sleigh ride won’t be happening this year.

Seems that red nose of Rudolph’s is causing major ructions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alarm bells are going off that it’s a warning symptom of H5N1 or other avian flu – one of the nasty ones.

Pandemic alert

With only days to this year’s round-the-world distribution trip, the whole delivery team – Rudolph, Santa and all the helpers – are under lockdown. Strict quarantine against any new pandemic breaking loose.

Despite high expectations and the world-famous nature of the trip, looks like the CDC has had Santa and Rudolph under surveillance for a long time.

Germ-spreading fomites

High on the list of worries is the huge sack of fomites – objects or substances which are capable of carrying infectious organisms from one individual to another.

Though each is individually gift-wrapped and addressed, there are no facilities aboard the sleigh to ensure they are properly disinfected and pathogen-free.

The lack of washing facilities aboard is also identified as a major health risk.

Asked for comment, Santa was overcome by a coughing fit, but did manage to identify that a back-up system was in place.

UV protection

Prior to departure, presents will be sterilised by longer than usual exposure to the Aurora Borealis at the North Pole. The ultra violet light present in the phenomenon will ensure all viruses and bacteria are removed before take-off.

Actual delivery will be by a fleet of high altitude NASA Global Hawk drones. For Santa watchers, high intensity white strobe lights will substitute for Rudolph’s more familiar red glow.

The whole journey can be tracked as normal via the official NORAD Santa Tracker website.

Hike hygiene levels high

Advice from the Santa Corporation is that children should be sure to wash their hands thoroughly before eating or opening presents – and be sure to follow proper hygiene when going to the toilet.

An upgraded delivery system is already in preparation for next year.

Merry Christmas everyone – and keep well!

Your life is in your own hands

Beauty pose
You touch your face 3,000 times a day – and what else?

We control our own destiny more than we think.

Yes, we choose our own directions – and yes, we drive ourselves at our own pace. It’s by our own efforts, or not at all.

But pretty well none of it is possible without hands. They are the do-ers that make things happen – that turn ideas into reality.

Amazing things, really. They do everything, go everywhere.

And that’s the problem.

Dangerous touches

Because the things they touch are seldom pure. Like everything else in this world, they’re covered in bacteria – some good, some bad. Many transferred on contact to our fingertips or palms.

Germs, right? Invisible microorganisms that can make you very ill or kill you. Impossible to avoid and a continual mission to get rid of. Which effectively means you’re at hazard all of the time.

Well, sort of.

World’s smallest killers

To a virus or bacteria that’s barely a thousandth of a micron across, your hand is an armour-plated tank. Tough and chemically hostile, it offers no way in to the body – an impenetrable no-go barrier to infecting a meal-ticket host.

Ain’t nothing to do with a surface like that except hang on. Which plenty of germs do – upwards of three million of them, around us like an aura every day.

Smart move.

Because it’s what our hands do next that matters.

Touching other stuff.

Beware fomites

Keyboard, phone, door-handle, document, money, clothing, loo seat, poo, wee, Coke bottle, chips, tomato sauce – these are all what are called “fomites”, made famous by Kate Winslet’s character Dr. Erin Mears in the movie Contagion.

Fomites are substances or objects that can transfer germs – your handbag, keys, scarf, watch-strap – triggering a whole roller-coaster ride of infection – where germs get to meet other germs, and gang up together for fun, fun, fun.

Spot the missing touch?

You got it. Your face. Otherwise known as germ heaven. The guaranteed way in for infection – through your mouth, up your nose, in the sensitive bits round your eyes, even your ears.

And without thinking of it, we touch our faces two or three  times a minute – that’s up to three thousand times a day! Three thousand germ-entry opportunities every day of your life.

The missing obsession

Which kind of emphasises the other missing touch – soap and water.

Most of the time we’re so full of ourselves rushing around, we don’t really think of washing hands. Yet if you think of the fomites we encounter doing that, we’re at hazard all the time.

Yes, it is possible to get some protection. Wash everything – tables, plates, knives, forks. Disinfect everything – loos, wash basins, kitchen sinks. All the schlep of daily life.

It’s even possible to sterilise all around us. A dose of UV radiation or misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide will clobber all viruses and bacteria down to nothing – even killers like bubonic plague and Ebola.

But it’s all kind of useless if we traipse into our specially sterilised room and shake hands for an interview straight after a nervous but necessary dash to the WC.

At your peril

Washed your hands?

Er, yes, but that quick rinse under the tap doesn’t crack it. And using the pull-down towel doesn’t help. When the roll is finished, everybody’s germs all wind up on the same piece of cotton.

Ask any medic, and they’ll tell you that a proper scrub-up to get rid of germs takes at least five minutes. And that’s a schlep too – seriously hot water, scouring underneath and scrubbing your nails, getting right down between your fingers – then disposable towels or an air dryer.

And it all needs to be done again as soon as you touch something!

So the Hand Hygiene brigade are not so paranoid after all. This is the flu season, with all kinds of other nasties lurking out there as well – norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter. You can blame other circumstances just so far, but you’ve got to come to the party as well.

Just like everything in life, isn’t it? Keep your hands clean, or it will come back to bite you.

Because it’s pretty silly to die for something that isn’t necessary.

Killer viruses: get yourself some protection

Eye make up
You do it every day and it could be utterly deadly

Blink and you might miss it.

Tucked away amongst today’s latest is a nifty device to sterilise make-up brushes . A few minutes and no more bacteria.

Never thought of it before?

Right in your face

Actually make-up brushes are a major source of possible infection – especially in salons, used on multiple clients. That unexpected rash or worse started right in front of the mirror.

With use, make-up oil and dirt build up on your brushes, trapping all kinds of bacteria that spread over your face. Sure, you notice that they get dirty, so from time to time you probably wash them.

Because they take ages to dry, more bacteria develops within the hairs, making things worse not better. You use the brush again, close to your mouth, eyes and nose, all passages that viruses and bacteria exploit to invade your body. Next thing, rhinovirus or goodness knows what.

Ultra violet magic

So this latest Brush Medic gadget takes care of it – basically a mini vanity-slab-top drying cabinet with a UV generator built in. The ultra violet light irradiates the brushes, killing viruses and bacteria by destroying their DNA. Next time you use your brush, it’s sterilised safe.

Uh huh.

That takes care of your face, but what about the rest of you? And how about where you live – the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom? If germs can build up on your face, aren’t they everywhere?

All around, and inside you

If you could see them, you might be terrified. Because billions and billions of them surround us every day. We’re not aware of them because they’re too small to notice – smaller than the smallest grain of dust. And every one of us pulls around an aura of 3 million or so, every single second.

So why aren’t you sick?

Well one microbe by itself can’t do very much, your body’s protection system is way to clever. Your skin for instance has an acid mantle, that’s why its pH balance is so important. A single germ lands on you and it’s quickly history.

But not when they gang up on you, like in spray from a sneeze. And not when they find a way into your body through a cut or something you eat. They can even get in through your eye if you rub it, exposing the sensitive moist part.

Ah, but this Brush Medic doohickey has started something with its UV generator. Ultra violet light gets used everywhere to kill germs. Those brave medics who’ve gone to Africa to fight the Ebola disease go through a UV tunnel every day before work.

Beyond your face

Closer to home, you can get a handheld UV sanitising wand you can wave around, zapping germs as it goes. It’s fine for a once-over, like a spray of aerosol Dettol. Sanitising, not sterilising – bringing the risk down to one germ in a hundred.

The medical jobbies have way more firepower, using pulsed xenon to generate shortwave ultra violet – so potent that people using it have to keep clear. Real sterilising power down to one germ in a hundred thousand.

But like we said, germs are everywhere. And you can’t go humping a great ultra violet unit on castors with you everywhere you go. Like what happens where a lot of people get together in the same place? Restaurants, offices, schools, wherever.

Well in most places, nothing – as you probably know. People don’t think of germs, so they don’t do anything about them.

Not so wise when you think about what they do to you.

Medicine-resistant germs

Yes, you can get sick and possibly die. But don’t count on your doctor to rescue you. Right now the whole medical profession is in a flat spin because germs are becoming resistant to antibiotics. You don’t get better because your medicines won’t work.

Ah, but that’s why the make-up brush gadget is so good. It stops you getting infections before they start. And if the medicines don’t work, prevention is better than cure.

Grown-up hair bleach

Which is where another super germ-fighter comes into play – one you’re going to start seeing often. It’s a wheelie-bin sized auto-robot that mists up enclosed spaces with an ultra-fine hydrogen peroxide spray. Yes, the same hydrogen peroxide that whitens teeth and bleaches hair.

That fine spray is ionised so it reaches everywhere – up, under, around, inside. With a static charge that grabs at viruses and bacteria like a magnetic snatch. At the same moment, it releases oxygen atoms, oxidising the germs so it rips their cells to shreds. Serious sterilising down to one germ in a million.

All you do is close the windows and doors, press the button and get out. Twenty minutes later the place is sterile. The restaurant kitchen, the school toilets, the hotel room, the tanning salon, the fish and chip shop.

Worth keeping an eye on when you read about campylobacter, or norovirus, or whatever else is doing the rounds.

Gems are never safe, but you can be.