New technology fights office germs

At a time when businesses are bracing themselves for the second wave of Swine Flu, Inov8 Science has published results of trials in offices that show a substantial reduction in airborne bioburden – an indicative measure of the bugs that cause colds and flu.

The air disinfection trials were conducted at the offices of a large financial services company in Carlisle. The trial was undertaken over a two week period in July in an office measuring 1500 square feet and populated by 15 people. Baseline samples were taken before running an AD unit in the office for a period of one week. The results clearly demonstrated the ability of the AD unit to substantially reduce the airborne threat of infection in an office.

Commenting on the significance of the results, Inov8 Science Chief Technology Officer, Dr Ian Widger says, “Even though the trials were conducted in the summer when bioburden levels were low, we have still demonstrated a reduction in airborne bioburden by over two thirds. We would expect a much greater effect in the winter when office windows are closed and higher background levels of colds and flu are prevalent.”

A Government report* has warned that ‘up to 30% of the population could have experienced symptoms of pandemic Swine Flu’ by mid May next year and Milton Keynes based company Inov8 Science claims that their AD (Air Disinfection) unit offers businesses a unique opportunity to avoid major disruption by helping to protect staff, visitors and customers.

Trials on the AD technology at the Health Protection Agency’s Porton Down Laboratory have demonstrated a 99.999% kill of S. Epidermidis and the surrogate organism MS2 Coliphage.

Similarly, trials at Leeds University have shown dramatic levels of pathogen reduction in aerobiological chambers that were dosed with Staphylococcus Aureus and Clostridium Difficile.

Urging businesses to take early action, Inov8 Science’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Ian Widger said, “Employers are bracing themselves for a second wave of Swine Flu and if staff sickness levels are anywhere near those outlined in the Cabinet Office/Department of Health planning assumptions, the financial implications would be extremely serious.”

INOV8 Science is ramping up production of the AD units in advance of the second Swine Flu wave which will enable organisations to take prompt action in order to limit the effects of the disease.

Typically, an employee suffering from Swine Flu will be absent for about 9 days, so Dr Widger believes the cost of Air Disinfection units “will be negligible in comparison with the potential costs of staff sickness.”



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