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 does not just sound terrifying. It is. That’s when a deadly virus turns totally 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! World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on 5 October 2005 that the 1918 Spanish flu was caused by H1N1, a bird flu virus.
PANIC STATIONS! PANIC STATIONS?
Not quite, not yet anyway. WHO data, updated as at 10 Sep 2008, shows the death toll to be only 245 since records were kept from 1996 when the H5N1 was first identified in China. So what’s the fuss? Scientists monitoring the virus fear that it may mutate into a form that transmits from human to human. As of now, there has been only one probable case of human-to-human transmission recorded in Thailand in September 2004. Don’t be surprised by the global pandemonium in the event that the dreaded virus mutation actually occurs.
With increasing momentum. many 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’s all this got to do with Sharp’s ionic air purifier. 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. 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.
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! They go so far as to say it may in fact be cheaper than any other ordinary ionic air purifier when measured over 5 years. Great value for our hard-earned money! But, how is this possible in this nothing-is-for-free world?
Sharp says that its definitely possible. Using 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.
Feedback on relevant data on Sharp or its competitors will be very much appreciated. Please drop me a note if you have actual experience.
My next step will be to learn as much as I can about the Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Technology. The time to research is now, while bird flu is still not quite at pandemic proportions.
Don’t procrastinate. I have been there. Like a horror movie, pandemic fears spread across Asia for months. People shunned crowded places like shopping centres, some stayed away from work, others became unofficial health “authorities” passing decrees on hygiene standards. Anyone who sneezed in public without a N95 face mask found himself standing alone in a split second. 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. We all know that 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.
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