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Sanyo says filtering system effective against bird flu viruses

A different system that sprays a fine mist of the electrolyzed water onto a cotton swab infused with the viruses also rendered 99 percent or more of the viruses inactive, the company said.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) May 15, 2006
Japan's Sanyo Electric Co said Monday that one of its filtering systems had been shown in tests to be effective in suppressing airborne bird flu viruses.

Air infected with the H5 type of avian influenza virus was forced through the system's honeycomb-shaped disinfectant filter impregnated with electrolyzed water containing a type of chlorine.

Measurements of the filtered air found that at least 99 percent of the viruses were suppressed, Sanyo announced at a press conference.

"Sanyo is proud of the work we have done in developing this technology which possibly could lead to the prevention of a major world threat," Sanyo chairman Tomoyo Nonaka said.

"We will continue to research the practical uses of this technology in homes, schools and other public places," she said.

A different system that sprays a fine mist of the electrolyzed water onto a cotton swab infused with the viruses also rendered 99 percent or more of the viruses inactive, the company said.

The technology, developed in collaboration with scientists at Tottori University, can rapidly disinfect a large room, Sanyo said. It is already used in some products such as air purifiers and washing machines.

Since 2003 bird flu has killed some 115 people, mainly in Asia, through transmission from birds, according to the World Health Organization.

There are 15 strains of flu that affect birds, but the one behind the global health scare is the sub-type known as H5N1.

Almost all the human cases of bird flu have been people who were directly exposed to infected fowl.

Scientists' big worry is that H5N1 could pick up genes from conventional human flu viruses, mutating into a form both highly lethal and highly infectious.

Related Links

Bird Flu Vaccine Priority
Washington (UPI) May 17, 2006
U.S. heath ethicists are considering bird flu pandemic priorities -- specifically, when there isn't enough vaccine for everyone, who gets the first doses?

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