H1N1 - THE THREAT PERSISTS

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In 2009, numerous H1N1 infection related casualties occurred worldwide. South Africa was no exception. Particularly worrying was the significant number of deaths amongst young people – especially pregnant women. In addition, many of these deaths occurred in previously healthy individuals.

In 2010, we are not sure how the virus will behave. What we are sure of, however, is that because of the 2010 World Cup, the risk for South Africa and South Africans is so much greater. Over 300 000 international tourists are expected to visit our shores from all parts of the globe. They will arrive during the colder winter months, when susceptibility to viral infections is greater. Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has been involved in discussions to reassure the international community that precautions are being taken (add ref or link, if available?).

New scientific research has discovered that that the H1N1 virus can survive for extended periods outside the body and on various surfaces such as fabric, plastic and wood for up to 48 hours. [See article in Health Media 24 at http://www.health24.com/news/Flu_Influenza/1-912,56129.asp#, which was also distributed by the South African Medical Association to all its members]. This means that a carrier of the virus passing through a particular area can infect others passing through the same area long after the infected person had left. This has significant implications for areas where big crowds will congregate during the World Cup, such as airports, stadia and hotels.

Basic hygiene such as hand washing and other safety precautions will be the first and most obvious line of defence. The wearing of face-masks will prove ineffectual, as infections can be acquired by touching infected surfaces. The only manner in which these can be rendered safe, is through constant disinfection. This often involves the use of products which are environmentally harmful.

Ultimately, the aim should be to render high traffic surfaces and areas safe for extended periods of time; or employ surfaces, which themselves can prevent the replication or growth of harmful viruses. The next step would be to utilise materials able to kill viruses on contact.

Clearly, this is a problem that requires a solution. Earlier this year, the local press reported that “Liquid Glass could sanitise the world “ (http://www.ioltechnology.co.za/article_page.php?iSectionId=2890&iArticleId=5344797). Liquid Glass is Silicon Dioxide in Nano particle size that combines amazing surface protection with Anti-bacterial properties. The product has been successfully applied to sanitise a large Airport in London against the H1N1 virus – mitigating the threat of infection to travellers as well as staff.

Liquid Glass is now available in South Africa, through NanoLandAfrica (NLA). The company is solely responsible for the distribution of Liquid Glass as well as other smart nano fluids and products.

NanoLandAfrica will be able to provide sanitisation services for major airports and stadia, going a long way in helping to protect the South African public and international visitors from the spread of the H1N1 virus. Furthermore, all high traffic areas or environments in which sanitisation is critical will be able to benefit from NLA’s innovative nanoproducts geared towards combating the growth and spread of viruses and bacteria.

Issued by NanolandAfrica

 

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