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 eliminating the bird flu virus known as H5N1.
With increasing regularity, the press reminds us that 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. The worst pandemic on record was the Spanish flu in 1918 which is believed to have killed 50 million people worldwide! 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.
Red Alert! Time to PANIC?
Not now. 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? The greatest nightmare for scientists monitoring the bird flu virus is to see it attain human-to-human transmission capability. Currently, there has been only one probable case of human-to-human transmission recorded in Thailand in September 2004. But if (it seems the virus has not reached the “when” stage) the dreaded virus mutation takes place, you can expect pandemonium on a global scale.
As the threat grows day by day, countries around the globe are conscientiously preparing for the worse (more on this in a later post). As protectors of our families and loved ones, we should start doing some homework too.
Ok, so what has the Sharp ionic air purifier to do with all this. Isn’t it 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. If there is really a tested defence shield against a deadly virus, why not? The complete package is promised in Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier.
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. A case of over-delivering by Sharp? How is it possible in this nothing-is-for-free world?
It is entirely possible, says Sharp. For example, there is much better value for money in its Plasmacluster Ionic Air Purifier Model FP-N40CX 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.
Any feedback on the competitor numbers would be greatly appreciated. Just email me if you have actual numbers.
Meanwhile, I’m going to seriously investigate this Sharp Plasmacluster IonTechnology. The time to research is now, while bird flu is still not quite at pandemic proportions.
Don’t procrastinate. Believe me, I have seen it. I remember my family, along with thousands of other frantic people, scrambling around town looking for the much-touted N95 face mask when the last near-pandemic scare took place in Asia. The year was 2003. SARS was a much dreaded acronym. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus started spreading 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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