27 August 2008 may prove to be a pivotal point in mankind’s war against the much-feared bird flu pandemic. On that day, Sharp Corporation unveiled its latest technological weapon against the unseen enemy! 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.
As we have been constantly reminded by the press, bird flu is the prime suspect to cause mankind’s next pandemic. Pandemic sounds terrifying. It is. That’s when a highly contagious virus goes global, in a very negative sense. In 1918, an invisible bug is believed to have wiped out 50 million people during the Spanish Flu pandemic! World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on 5 October 2005 that the 1918 Spanish flu was caused by H1N1, a bird flu virus.
Red Alert! Time to PANIC?
Not quite, not yet anyway. WHO statistics (updated up to 10 Sep 2008) tracing back to 1996 when the H5N1 virus first surfaced in China shows a relatively low death toll of 245. So what’s the fuss? A bird flu virus that attains human-to-human transmission capability is the ultimate horror of the scientific community. There has been only one probable case of human-to-human transmission recorded in Thailand in September 2004. Without a doubt, there will be global pandemonium if the dreaded virus mutation happens.
Like other countries, Singapore (where I live) is 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’s all this got to do with Sharp’s ionic air purifier. Is it not just another ionic air purifier? It is ordinary in that it performs the usual functions of the run-of-the-mill air purifier by getting rid of dust, dirt, smoke, dander, pollen, cuisine and pet odours, pollutants, allergens etc. 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? That’s what Sharp is claiming, get the all-in-one package with their Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier.
If you’re value-conscious like me, the obvious question would be “yes, that makes a whole lot of sense but at what cost”? Here again, Sharp claims that it’s at no extra cost! Sharp contends that it is cheaper than any other competing ionic air purifier when measured over 5 years. Great value for our hard-earned money! How is it 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 first sight, the typical competitor’s upfront cost of US$160 looks cheap compared to Sharp’s US$399. But add in the annual replacement filter replacement costs of US$100 and the total outlay for the competing ionic air purifier comes to US$560.
If anyone has relevant numbers on Sharp and the competitors, your feedback will be much appreciated. Just email me if you have actual data.
My next step will be to learn as much as I can about the Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Technology. Now is the time to research, while bird flu is still not quite at pandemic proportions.
Don’t procrastinate. Personal panic does not fade. Recall the last disaster movie when you saw people with terror in their eyes, many with the famed N95 face mask covering their noses as they commute to work. But it was no movie but real life in motion in many Asian cities. Those who could not find the scarce N95 face mask could only pray that they were not the next victim of the near-pandemic scenario that swept across Asia. It was the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. Originating in Asia in 2003, it eventually infected 8,096 people around the world and resulted in 774 fatalities. Being well 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.
To easily receive updates on new articles, subscribe to The Ionic Air Purifier Blog today.