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 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 deadly killer flu was confirmed on 5 October 2005 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be caused by H1N1, a bird flu virus.
Red Alert! Time to PANIC?
Not just yet. Updated on 10 Sep 2008, WHO statistics shows the death toll at 245 from 1996 when the H5N1 virus 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. To the knowledge of WHO, 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.
Quietly but conscientiously, many countries are preparing for the worse (more on this in a later post). At the individual level, we should start making preparations too.
Ok, so what has the Sharp ionic air purifier to do with all this. Is it not just another ionic air purifier? Yes, it’s ordinary in that it takes care of the usual stuff that we look for in an air purifier – 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? And that is precisely what Sharp is telling us; get the whole package with their Plasmacluster Ion Technology.
The next obvious question for the value-conscious, 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! 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. Hey, that’s great value for money! But, how is this possible in this nothing-is-for-free world?
Yes, its possible, claims Sharp. For instance, in its Plasmacluster Ionic Air Purifier Model FP-N40CX, Sharp contends that it is undoubtedly better value for money as there is no filter replacement costs for the first 5 years. Upfront costs at US$399 for the Sharp model is higher than the typical competitor’s US$160. But the latter requires annual filter replacement costs of US$100, adding to a total cost of US$560 over 5 years.
If anyone has relevant numbers on Sharp and the competitors, your feedback will be much appreciated. Do let me know if you have recent actual data.
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.
Today is the day to get started. 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. For the uninitiated, it was the year 2003. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus originated in Asia, infected 8,096 people around the world before finally 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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