Tag Archives: viruses

Beat the severe flu season – do nothing

Girl doing nothing
Don’t bother me,
I’m keeping everybody else healthy

It’s better than pulling a sickie – and it’s official.

To avoid coming down with this year’s nasty, take yourself out of circulation.

STAY AT HOME!

It seems finally the research wallahs have been hit by common sense.

The “doh” effect

If you take yourself out of the equation, nothing can happen to you.

Not quite the same as your Doc saying take two weeks in the sun. But the nearest thing to it.

Believe it or not, this “procedure” even has a name.

Non-pharmaceutical intervention“.

And it’s the brain-child of four high-powered American study centres: University of California, Arizona State University, Georgia State University and Yale University.

Like, wow.

These guys are serious though,  and so are their recommendations.

Makes sense

Wide-spread flu attacks should be treated as an epidemic and the most effective way to avoid them is “social distancing.”

That’s where the “stay at home” bit comes in.

As evidence, the boffins cite the outbreak of A/H1N1 swine flu in Mexico City in 2009.

Inundated with cases, the federal government shut schools and people stayed home – limiting the number of others they came in contact with.

Kinda obvious isn’t it?

If you’ve got the bug, you can’t give it to anyone except the family.

And if anyone else has got it, they don’t come near you.

You’re laughing.

Prevention

Back to the old philosophy: prevention is better than cure.

So it’s not YOU who should call your boss, because you’re sick and staying home.

It’s YOUR BOSS who should call you, because others are sick and you should stay home. (Tweet this)

A one-word tactic – AVOID.

Way better and more productive than dragging yourself to work, bringing everyone else down with it so the whole export department is out, clogging up your GP for antibiotics that don’t work, then staggering in to an overcrowded A&E because the flu brought complications from working late.

Just think of the price tag too – to you, to your employer, to the NHS, and to the country.

In fact, staying home is MORE productive.

Well, you’ve got broadband haven’t you? So you’re not going to sit there, bored out of your skull with Eastenders.

You can network the office or anywhere in the world – snug as bug under the duvet with a mug of hot chocolate – on flexible hours too, so the heck with the alarm clock.

Skype, Hangouts, what’s the problem?

Plus, plus, plus!

If your employer’s on the ball, he applies AVOID tactics too.

Not just by staying home himself.

But by taking the opportunity to sterilise the offices – remove all viruses and bacteria completely.

No germs at work

No residue bugs hanging around to infect people when they come back.

Easy peasy – mist the place up with hydrogen peroxide ultra-fine spray and all germs are oxidised to nothing.

Flu, norovirus, e.coli, campylobacter, c.difficile, salmonella, legionnaire’s disease, smallpox, Ebola, whatever – all dead and gone and not coming back.

So what’s not to like?

You get time off, paid to put your feet up.

Your offices get purified.

Nobody suffers a moment with coughs or sniffles.

SORTED!

Yes, sure it’s bloody obvious, as the Duke of Edinburgh might say.

So why didn’t we think of this before?

Originally posted 2015-01-23 11:55:41.

A&E lockdown: shock norovirus wipeout

Rush to AandE
Panic stations, yes –
but not the end of the world

Fortunately, there is a panic button to press.

A very effective one too.

But first priority has to be to evacuate everybody out of there.

Set up somewhere for a few hours with unaffected staff – a marquee from the ambulance service is better than nothing.

Because this is winter and things can’t stop running.

You can’t stop the world

Cold weather. Ice. Old people falling and traffic accidents – you know the score.

Now, the panic button.

It’s on the front panel of an automated room steriliser. A thing that looks like a small stylish wheelie-bin. Press it, and you have 30 seconds to leave the room – before it starts spraying an ultra-fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide.

Yes, the same hydrogen peroxide from yonks back that you might use to treat wounds and disinfect.

Nineteenth Century champion

But with a high-tech Twenty-First Century difference.

Ionised, that fine spray is significantly smaller than drops of water mist. So light, it rides easily into the air, spreading upwards and outwards. Under things too – and behind – and deep into crevices where normal cleaning doesn’t reach.

Except this isn’t a cleaner. It’s a full-on Log 6 steriliser.

As a powerful oxidiser, hydrogen peroxide is a killer for viruses and bacteria. All of them.

It’s electronically charged too, so it physically reaches out and grabs pathogen cells, releasing oxygen atoms that rip their cell structure apart. A dry mist that evaporates as it works.

And to make doubly sure, that mist is boosted with another known germ-killer from way back – colloidal silver.

An ultra-thin residue of it is left on surfaces, a sterilising layer for on-going protection.

Safe and secure

No germs can survive this double onslaught. They’re gone on contact. No more norovirus, no more e.coli. No more Ebola either, if you were ever unfortunate enough to face that challenge.

And the stuff reaches everywhere, including places that never normally get touched. The underside of beds and trolleys, the keyboards and cables of electronic equipment, behind and on top of cupboards.

And the one place that never normally gets treated – the total room AIR space.

Worth remembering, that.

Because since all microbes are smaller than the eye can see, they’re mostly airborne anyway – even if that’s not how they’re contracted.

It’s in the air

Normal sterilising takes care of surfaces, but not the air. So as soon as you’re done, the bugs settle back – and you sit with a re-infection problem. (Tweet this)

Sterilise the air too, and that doesn’t happen.

Twenty minutes, forty, and you’re done – it depends on the room size. Totally safe too, hydrogen peroxide decomposes in action to just oxygen and water, which evaporates anyway. Then, just in case, say another ten minutes to vent.

Less than an hour and you’re back in business.

The entire place is sterilised, just by pressing a button.

Ask the folks in the haematology department at Salford Royal, they’ve had their machine for two years now – and infections are seriously down.

Under sixty minutes

So, less than an hour. Didn’t think it could be that quick? Well, with all the pressure on NHS right now, who can afford to close a ward for a week, let alone A&E?

If it’s super urgent, call Jon Knight on 07776 451222 or click here. A hit team can be rolling ASAP, often within the hour.

Easy-peasy, and you’re sorted. No more norovirus. Or anything else.

Hope you never caught it in the line of fire.

Originally posted 2015-01-22 12:31:14.

Antibiotics don’t work – our immune systems are shot too

Hand with stethoscope
You can’t get ill if you don’t catch germs in the first place

Blame it on our super-slick 21st Century lifestyle.

The one that cocoons us from the world, shielding us from harm and often reality.

It’s not like that in Asia. Or Africa. Or South America.

Or anywhere without our idyllic standard of living.

Mollycoddled weaklings

We’re so protected we have no resistance to anything that comes along – a baby could knock us over with a feather.

We’re too big deal, see. Too shielded for our own good.

That’s the key reason antibiotics don’t work anymore.

We’re so used to popping them for the slightest hiccup, we use them like sugar in our tea.

And with that volume of use, no wonder all the microbes and harmful pathogens have developed resistance. It’s kinda like putting shoes on before they go out for them. They all do it.

More fool us.

Because now when we take an antibiotic for something, it just sits there and looks at us.

“You mean you want me to protect you, drive out the evil nasties? Sorry, too much PT.”

It’s our own fault too. Our own stupidity.

You won’t find a youngster from Islamabad or Bogota behaving like us when we were kids.

We’re microbes too, you see. Sort of.

Millions of cells all bunched together, marching around – with all kinds of jumped up ideas about ourselves.

We’re cells, they’re cells, every living thing is cells.

Just act naturally

Which means we’d better co-operate and get on. It’s total oblivion otherwise.

And we do.

Everything we are and do is a trade-off with other living cells wanting to survive, just like us.

We’re surrounded by viruses and bacteria – billions and billions of them.

They even live IN us, they’re PART of us.

Like, there are more bacteria in our mouths than there are people on Earth.

They need to be there too. To aid digestion. To feed off all the gunge that could otherwise make us ill. To fight off harmful intruders. Basically for our own good.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t clean your teeth.

But as you already know, it won’t kill you if you don’t.

In fact, weirdly, it could even kill you if you do.

You give it the business with your toothbrush, right? Then you rinse off and put it away till next time.

Clean is dirty

Mistake right there – which could be the death of you.

Because moist surfaces open to the air are exactly what viruses and bacteria need to breed and thrive.

They do the same on your washing-up scourer. And the dish-cloth you dry your plates with. Your bathroom sponge. Your facecloth. Your towel.

The very things you use to clean are the most hazardous threats yet. Premier League germ spreader systems. (Tweet this) More dangerous than you could possibly imagine.

Of course, your five-year-old Bangladeshi kid knows nothing of this.

He’s too busy out with his pals, playing in the open air. Throwing stones, climbing trees, eating dirt. The things that kids do when they’re on their own. All perfectly natural.

Good clean dirt

Building up their immune systems, if you must know.

With good, clean dirt that will one day save their lives. Developing natural resistance and bigging it up. Always with some kind of sniffle or tummy twinge – ever wondered why kids are so snotty-nosed?

That’s normal  everyday tit-for-tat in the microbiology world. The daily trade-off between living organisms. Like cowpox knocks you back with a runny nose, but protects you big time from smallpox.

None of which happens, sitting indoors playing on an X-box. Or socking into chicken nuggets behind centrally-heated double glazing.

So when an ordinary common-or-garden pathogen rocks up – norovirus, say, or campylobacter – you’ve got no defence. Both give you gastroenteritis – queasy tummy, the runs, heaving your guts out.

No cast-iron stomach for you, you didn’t chomp mud when you were five.

OK, so we’re at hazard. Our antibiotics are tits up, and our immune systems have gone for a ball of chalk.

Yeah, we could take our chances and maybe die.

Or we could strike back.

Once we’ve got an infection, it’s more or less up to our own bodies to fight it off.
If we’re dirty enough, we can beat even Ebola – the upside of why some people survive.

Risky though. Better to sidestep altogether and not take chances in the first place. You can’t get infected if there’s no germs to infect.

We have a defence

Which is why sterilising everything is so effective. Especially our living space when we’re indoors. There might be sick people around, but their germs don’t have to linger for the rest of us to catch.

Blitz the place with hydrogen peroxide mist and that’s exactly what happens.

Germs don’t escape, they’re annihilated where they are, their cell structure ripped to shreds by oxidisation.

Twenty minutes, and we’re safe – whether antibiotics or our immune systems work, or not.

That easy, huh?

See! We’re not as badly off as the doom-mongers say we are.

Originally posted 2015-01-21 12:01:48.

Je suis Charlie, every day of your life

French flag eye
The French inspiration –
eyes open, always watchful

Je suis Charlie, three little words.

Overnight it’s become the world’s rally against terrorism of any kind, anywhere. An uplifting tribute to ordinary French people – and a defiant rejection of brutality, intolerance and violence.

If those big deals Blair and Bush had dared to show half such courage after 9/11, we would not face the senseless conflict that we do today.

Inspired vigilance

Thank you France, if only we can be as strong as you.

Because threats by fanatics are not the only terrorism we face.

Just as evil as the atrocities in Paris is the daily slaughter of innocent people overpowered by Ebola – and the invisible conflicts that each of us face at every moment against viruses and bacteria.

In Paris, ordinary people just like us were cut down in a hail of bullets.

But spare a thought for those in hospital, often in pain and anguish, slowly succumbing to disease or infection that nobody wanted or provoked.

It might not look like it, but the world is a dangerous place.

Thanks to the stupidities of former leaders – who wilfully exploded the world into the dissension it faces today – a terrorist’s bullet could hit any one of us, at any minute.

But through our own lack of watchfulness, a germ could strike us down dead just as effectively.

Invisible terrorists

All it takes is a lapse in hygiene habits, not washing hands or carelessness with food – and we are in trouble.

And germs are not like fanatics. They are everywhere, all the time – billions and billions of them surrounding every one of us.

The slightest little mistake or accident – even a paper cut – is all they need to invade our bodies and take us down.

And no, doctors and medicine can’t always fix it.

Because, horror of horrors, antibiotics don’t always work any more. Fifty years of relying on them for everything have given germs the chance to develop resistance.

You might go into hospital for a hernia operation, only to die from MRSA – methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – one of the most deadly hospital acquired infections.

Of course, yes, it should never happen, you should always be safe in medical care.

Ever-present danger

But operations make people vulnerable – so many defenceless bodies, all in one place – all with cuts and wounds for germs to get in and do their dirty work. So you could be more at risk in hospital than anywhere else.

It shouldn’t happen, but it does – and what can the poor medics do when the antibiotic applied to control infection comes up against a germ that ignores it?
It’s terrorism, plain and simple. And much more deadly.

Because when a terrorist pulls the trigger, there’s the possibility he can miss.

But germs don’t miss. Once they’re in, they’re in – and it’s up to your own body to fight them. And germs are very efficient at making you die. Plus there’s no secret intelligence service to warn you of their presence, no police or military to protect you.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.

There are more than six billion of us, and we WANT to survive.

Time to up our game

Which makes prevention way better than cure. If we don’t get sick, germs can’t touch us. (Tweet this)

Better to assume they’re always there. That we always need to take precautions.
Washing hands. Being careful of everything we come in contact with. Everything we eat. Everything we breathe.

And sterilising our surroundings, to make doubly sure. Every room we’re in, totally free of harmful pathogens. Nothing in the air. Nothing on any surface. Nothing lurking in cracks or crevices.

Je suis Charlie. We have a lot to thank those wonderful French people for.

Their solidarity and courage is a vivid reminder that we must always be watchful.

A terrorist can strike at any moment. So can a virus or bacteria.

En garde!

Originally posted 2015-01-12 12:51:44.

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!

Originally posted 2014-12-23 14:54:33.

Open wide… no chance of infection here

Dental checkup
No chance any infection
will get you while you’re here

Terrified of the dentist? You shouldn’t be. These days it doesn’t hurt – and when your mouth feels healthy, so do you.

Unless you’re worried about infection of course. That Nottingham dentist did nothing for anyone’s confidence.

Strictly come clean

But your own dentist has strict hygiene rules to follow – and you can bet he does. With around 20 billion oral microbes living in your mouth – more than the number of people living on earth – no way he’s taking chances.

If you think about it, a dentist’s surgery is like a hospital operating room, so some basic rules apply:

  • All surfaces are disinfected between patients.
  • Hands are washed and new gloves pulled on between patients.
  • All instruments are heat-sterilised between patients.

UV in the OR

Plus, after the Nottingham case, you might notice your dentist has a new toy. A schnazzy new ultra violet light generator.

Because in a hospital you personally get prepped before any operation – cleaned, disinfected, sterilised – made safe.

But dental patients walk in straight off the street. And every single one of us wears an aura of at least 3 million viruses and bacteria all the time – every one of them looking for a way into our bodies to start their mischief.

OK, so you’re at the dentist.

Then what happens? Your dental operation starts bang, straight away.

But you’re still in your street clothes, with slush on your shoes, no opportunity to wash your hands – you touch the dentist’s chair, the armrest and maybe something else – what sort of things are you bringing in for the next patient to run the risk of?

Well, none.

NONE.

Because you’ll notice that when the patient before you comes out, so do the dentist and the nurse –they don’t want to be exposed and things are about to happen in there.

Death ray for germs

They close the door. The dentist presses a remote control – not for catch-up TV, but for the ultra violet generator.

ZAP!

Inside the surgery the machine goes into action, blitzing every germ dead  – in the air, on surfaces – destroying their DNA by irradiation. Pumping out high intensity ultra violet light in the shortwave C spectrum, pulsed in concentrated flashes to minimise human exposure.

5 minutes and it’s safe. The room is sterile. No germs for you to catch except those you brought with you. And you’ve survived the day so far, ain’t nothing going to happen now.

You go into the surgery with the dentist and nurse. No germs, no nothing, the whole room is 99.999% free of them – what they call Sterility Assurance Level 5 (ever so posh).

Still worried about the dentist?

Don’t be.

If you’ve ever had raging toothache at 4.00 in the morning, you’ll know he’s on your side.

Originally posted 2014-12-17 14:30:00.

Squeaky clean hospital, narrow squeak in surgery

Ballet dancer in box
Escaping germs is always a close squeak

A simple operation.

Routine, routine, routine.

Except there’s nothing routine in cutting your body open and sewing up a few repairs.

Invasive surgery they call it. Like being carved up on the battlefield, but under anaesthetic.

Always a risk

Yes, it saves lives – in this case, yours.

But all the time your body is at hazard, and it’s only the skills of the experts that keep you alive.

Not just experts with a scalpel either.

The mop and bucket brigade are also keeping you from death.

Because of the germs.

Billions and billions of viruses and bacteria floating around all of us every day – in the air around our bodies, in our homes – and in the hospital where they’re going to do the op.

Hospital battlefield

It IS a battlefield too – right across the consulting room, the operating theatre, the recovery room and the observation ward. A constant war to prevent infection getting into your cut. The cut that saved your life, but could still kill you if the germs get in.

HAIs they call them – Hospital Acquired Infections. And you might wonder how such disasters are possible if medical professionals are doing their job properly.

The truth is that they are – to higher standards than any other occupation. If the world ran to the demanding requirements of the medical profession, we’d all be living in perfection.

Thing is though, that HAIs are not just a medical issue. They’re a hygiene one.
There are more people in hospital with cuts and tubes and wires into their bodies than anywhere else. And every breach in the body defences is a chance for germs to slip in.

Stopping them is next to impossible. Like the air we all breathe, they’re a fact of life.

Anti-antibiotics

Which is why post-op, you drift out of the anaesthetic pumped full of antibiotics.

No significant surgery of any kind is possible without them. The germs are so pervasive and fast, every patient would die on the operating table.

Which makes every hospital a war-zone. A constant onslaught against viruses and bacteria – hostile organisms so small they’re invisible – you can never tell whether they’re there or not.

But count on it, they always are.

So hospitals don’t just need to be clean and KEPT clean. They need a special kind of clean. Because the enemy is everywhere – on surfaces, furniture, drapes, skin and clothing. Swirling through the air too. If you’ve ever watched minute motes of dust floating in sunlight, you’ll understand.

A hospital is a huge place too – requiring a monumental effort to keep clean.

Doing it all to the same standard is impossible, but this is where miracles happen every day.

They need them too.

Antibiotics are vital to saving your life – but fifty years of depending on them more and more has led to overuse. Result – mutating bacteria have found a way to become resistant to them too.

So HAIs are increasingly in the news. Today the No 1 villain is MRSA – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus – the surgeon’s nightmare. The No 2 is Clostridium Difficile.

You will be tested for both repeatedly – before, during and after your procedure. Between them they kill around 2,000 people a year in the UK, just these two.

Against the enemy

Fortunately you’re not totally dependant on Mrs Mop to keep you safe. Hospital cleaning is science and there’s more to it than disinfectant and detergent.

Operating theatres have HEPA filters – High-Efficiency Particulate Air scrubbers so fine they can remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.03 of a micron – a single MRSA cell is 0.06.

Increasingly, ultra violet light is used too. In high intensity pulses generated in the short-wave UV-C band, the light attacks viruses and bacteria by destroying their DNA. All germs within range are dead in around ten minutes.

Hydrogen peroxide is even more effective. No shadows, no “dead” areas. Misted up into a super-fine ionised spray it reaches everywhere, drawn by static charge. Germs are destroyed by oxidising them – ripped apart by oxygen atoms and destroyed down to just 1 microorganism in a million.

Yes, your surgery is a serious thing, but your body will pull through – the doctors and nurses will make sure of it. Your narrow escape is in avoiding the germs – always a risk, even with defences in place.

A squeak you’ll be glad to be out of.

Originally posted 2014-12-03 13:54:46.

Better than your GP – better than A&E

Healthy woman
What if you never had to go to the Doc ever again?

Staying healthy is important, right?

It’s the key to a happy life, doing what you want to do, being yourself – everything.

So would you take pills to help you keep well?

Nearly a quarter of us do, gulping down all kinds of keep-well tablets and nutritional supplements – a booming business expected to be worth £786 million by 2018 according to Euromonitor.

Do nothing – and suffer

But hold up there a minute. If it’s that important, why haven’t you had your flu jab?

More to the point, why haven’t your kids?

It’s free, you know, to under-fours. And not even an injection. A quick sniff from a nasal spray and they’re done.

Yet so far this year, only a third of children in this age group have been vaccinated. And according to chief medical officer Dame Sally Owens, these are the “super-spreaders” – the ones who cause the rest of us to catch the bug, especially grandparents and relatives.

What are we, round the twist or what?

Antibiotics don’t work

Because if we get a sniffle, most of us run to the Doc and demand antibiotics.

And antibiotics don’t work a damn against colds and flu – or any virus for that matter. But we pressure the Doc anyway – adding to the frightening reality that over-use of antibiotics means they don’t work any more.

That’s of course if you can get to the Doc, who’s all bunged up with people like you coughing and sneezing so there’s less time for Mrs Johnson who really has got a problem with her arthritic hip.

No problem, if the Doc’s overcrowded, maybe you’re one of those who runs to A&E at 10.00 in the evening because that’s when your TV programme’s finished. Good luck with getting through the triage wait – you’ll be a while after the girl in cardiac arrest from the three-car accident.

But that’s not you, is it? You’re much more thoughtful. Your local clinic and the A&E are busy places, so you stay home and suffer in silence.

Ill and iller

Except when you’re not well, you’re not well. And not doing something about it can only make things worse – may even make them irrecoverable.

It’s why too many cancer patients in Britain succumb for example. Staying away in the hopes of getting better could be the death of you.

So why run the risk of getting ill at all? If we’re spending over £20 every week or so for a bottle of vitamin tablets, what’s wrong with a flu jab for only £12?

What’s it worth to stay well and never have to visit the Doc at all? Or sit in A&E with some drunk heaving all over you?

No germs, no nothing

Here’s a few sums.

Central heating might set you back £3,000 to shut out winter. Double glazing could cost you £6,000 and over to stop the draughts. And insulation to prevent heat loss, £500. That’s £10K, just to keep warm and comfortable.

So how much for never getting sick because your house is sterile?

No viruses, no bacteria, so there’s nothing around to bring you down. That won’t stop little Katie from bringing something home from school of course. But it will raise the hygiene threshold so there’s less chance of catching anything.

No it doesn’t have to cost £10K, you can buy it for £100 a week. A completely automatic Hypersteriliser that eliminates health hazards completely.

About the size of a small wheelie-bin, it sprays each room with an ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide. The stuff is ionised so it reaches out and grabs germs by static charge, ripping them apart by oxidising them.

Exactly the treatment you would want to give anything that makes you feel so lousy.

No germs in your home, you don’t get sick. No visits to the Doc or A&E. You may not even need the keep-well tablets either. You and your family are safe and protected from all the bugs that make life so miserable. Norovirus, campylobacter, salmonella, e.coli, flu, the works.

There’s beasties out there

You still need to take care of course. Step outside and you’re back in the thick of it. Out in the cold too – and the wind, and the rain, and all the other things that being out of nice, warm central heating can throw at us.

Worth it though, don’t you think – to keep all those nasties away?

Just don’t forget your flu jab.

That girl with the glasses in Accounts is sneezing all over the place.

Originally posted 2014-11-28 14:24:52.

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.

Originally posted 2014-11-27 14:21:35.

Say your bye-byes to stinky germs in the car

Woman smelling rose
Supersafe Supermum’s
got germ problems licked

It was brand-new, out the box. A glittering German 4×4, perfect for climbing up kerbs to park on pavements.

A Chelsea tractor, yes, they knew that. So Arthur named it Fergus – they had an old Ferguson tractor rusting by the gate at the farm next door when he was growing up.

Bundle of trouble

The baby was new too. A thumping giant at eight pounds and seven ounces, definitely a rugby player – lock forward at least, maybe even a scrum half.

Gwen chose the name Lance – as it had to be with a Dad called Arthur and living in a house called “Camelot”.

Wow, but the car was amazing to drive. Top of the range, four-and-a-half litres – pure indulgence and why not?

Both of them were at the top of their game, Arthur in the City, Gwen with her own PR outfit. High-earning DINKS (Double Income No Kids) they could afford the odd reward – like the skiing holiday they took in Austria six months before Lance arrived.

Lance was amazing, of course. So intelligent – definitely a transplant surgeon or nuclear physicist.

Reality and babies

Messy though. Every lunch bowl upside down on the floor. Every sterilised bottle dribbling on its side. And the nappies – better not to go there.

It got better when Lance graduated to a drinking mug. Two handles to hold and he liked using it. Best of all, it calmed him down. So Gwen let him have it, strapped in the back seat on the way to the office.

Sign a few cheques, crack a few heads, a quick trip to the park to feed the ducks, and home.

Mistake.

They were on the M25 going great and Lance had his special – a weird mix of formula and blackcurrant, but what the heck, he liked it.

Not all the time though.

Somewhere on the long Surrey stretch between Leatherhead and Chertsey, the mug went upside down on the brushed cloth seat. Gwen knew nothing because Lance was quiet and the whole lot had leaked out when they got to Shepherd’s Bush.

It didn’t mop up and it left a mark.

Worse, on the return trip Lance did a repeat performance with a full load of OJ.

Sponge and detergent when she finally got Lance down. Then the miracle gop when Ocado delivered. It got the stain out. But when she parked in the sun two days later, the residue made the inside as high as a kite.

Germs, germs everywhere

A full-on cyberchondriac Mum, Gwen knew the score. Salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, and e. coli at least. Probably a whole bunch more.

Fergus was an infected death trap on wheels and Lance was in danger.

Fergus went to the dealership to have the seat replaced and Gwen started using taxis. Until some driver gave her lip about kids upchucking in his cab.

More germs, more danger – Arthur had to drive them everywhere strapped in in the Lexus, with Gwen riding shotgun, holding Lance’s bottle while he drank. Less than ideal and a real pain until Fergus came back.

Gwen promised herself, no more drinking mug in the car – the very same afternoon that Lance screamed his lungs out through every inch of a four-and-a-half mile tailback. Another idea that never flew.

The next OJ hit was a day later.

Gwen screamed and climbed on the laptop. Somewhere out in Cyberdom there had to be an answer. Come on Google, make your magic.

The stuff arrived two days later – £8 extra for express delivery.

No smells, no germs

More formula by that stage. And a split milk carton in the luggage space, thrown there in a strop after a barney with some woman in the checkout queue.

Ammonium chloride it said on the label, an aerosol misting spray.

She got to it late one afternoon when Lance was down. Shut all the windows, put the can in the car, pressed the button and got out of there. Mist was right, more like fog – the kind that shuts airports down for three days.

Arthur came home in the middle of it. Leapt out of the Lexus scrabbling for the fire extinguisher. “For Pete’s sake, Gwen – your car’s on fire.”

She stopped him just in time. Arm wrestled the extinguisher away from him. Opened the door and let the mist escape out. Strong lemony smell, no trace of sour milk.

She gave it another bash the next day, Supermum on overkill. Again, no trace of sour milk – and the miracle gop took care of the stains. She loaded up Lance, suspicious as hell.

Except the smells were gone and Lance was happy as Larry. No sniffles, no dodgy tummy, full of the joys of spring. Still lethal with the drinking mug of course – Sir Spillalot. They averaged a new hit every one-and-a-half journeys.

Gwen got more of the stuff. Misted up the car every two days. No smells, no germs – it oxidised viruses and bacteria to nothing, could even handle that horrid Ebola.

Next coffee club morning with all the Mums complaining about colds and tummy bugs, she just sat there with Lance smelling like a rose.

Originally posted 2014-11-25 13:15:00.