On 27 August 2008, sharp corporation issued a press release that may someday be recognised as the true beginning of mankind's war against bird flu! Incorporated in its ionic air purifier, the Plasmacluster Ion Technology (more on this in a later post) has just been scientifically proven to be 99.9% effective in destroying the bird flu virus known as H5N1.
Every now and then, the press reminds us that bird flu is the prime suspect to cause mankind's next pandemic. Pandemic does not just sound terrifying. It is. That's when a highly contagious virus goes global, in a very negative sense. It boggles my mind that the 1918 Spanish Flu may have killed 50 million people on earth! That was blamed on the H1N1 virus which was only recently confirmed on 5 October 2005 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a bird flu virus.
Now that I have your attention, is it time to PANIC?
Not now. Statistically, as recorded by WHO as at 10 Sep 2008, “only” 245 people have died from the H5N1 virus. This is since 1996 when the virus first surfaced in China. So what's the fuss? The greatest nightmare for scientists monitoring the bird flu virus is to see it attain human-to-human transmission capability. As of now, there has been only one probable case of human-to-human transmission recorded in Thailand in September 2004. But if the dreaded virus mutation takes place, you can expect pandemonium on a global scale.
Countries are conscientiously preparing for the worse (more on this in a later post). At our individual level, we should start doing some homework too.
Ok, so what has the Sharp ionic air purifier to do with all this. Is it not just another ordinary ionic air purifier? Yes, because it takes care of the usual pollutants (dust, dirt, smoke, dander, pollen, cuisine odors, pet odors, allergens etc) that contaminate the air that we breathe and live in. But if we can get protection from all these and more in one ionic air purifier, especially one that is a tested defense shield against a potentially deadly virus, why not? With Sharp's Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier, that is exactly what is promised.
Obviously, for the value-conscious, the next logical question would be “yes, that makes a whole lot of sense but at what cost”? Per Sharp, not a penny more! Sharp contends that it is cheaper than any other ordinary ionic air purifier when measured over 5 years. Wow, value for money sure gets my attention! But, how is this possible in this nothing-is-for-free world?
With the Plasmacluster Ionic Air Purifier Model FP-N40CX as the basis, Sharp contends that it is great value for money as there is no filter replacement costs for the first 5 years. At US$399, the Sharp model compares favourably against a typical competitor's ionic air purifier that may cost US$160 upfront but over 5 years cost a total of US$560 due to annual filter replacement costs of US$100 each.
Since I have only started on this study, I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the numbers quoted by Sharp. Feel free to drop me a note if you have actual numbers.
In the meantime, I'm going to investigate intently the Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Technology. The time to research is now, while bird flu is still not quite at pandemic proportions.
Its never too soon to get ready. Fear etches itself deep in my psyche. Imagine thousands of frantic people going from drugstore to drugstore looking for the same face mask. The N95 mask was touted as the only effective weapon as a near-pandemic scare gripped Asia. In case you have not heard, the year was 2003. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus originated in Asia and infected 8,096 people around the world, resulting in 774 fatalities. As always, being prepared is half the battle won.
Watch this space as we track exciting developments in our pursuit of safe, pure and clean air with nothing more than an ionic air purifier.
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