Japanese Sharp Corporation releases a press statement on 27 August 2008 that did not grab any headlines. But one day, it may be on Page One of every newspaper on earth! 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.
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 deadly virus turns totally global, in a very negative sense. History records for us that 50 million people may have died during the 1918 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.
Do I have your attention now? 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? Mutation of the bird flu virus to achieve human-to-human transmission capability is the ultimate horror of the scientific community. 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.
Countries around the globe are conscientiously 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? 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? That’s what Sharp is saying, get the all-in-one air purifier 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! 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?
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.
Feedback on relevant data on Sharp or its competitors will be very much appreciated. Just email me if you have actual numbers.
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 let other things in life lead you to procrastinate. I have been there. 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. 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. 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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