Monday, January 22, 2007

A New Flu View

Here’s an update of avian influenza from around the globe:
  • Indonesia reported its 62nd avian flu fatality last week. Only 18 Indonesians who have contracted the disease survived.
  • Of the 19 confirmed cases of avian flu in Egypt, 11 have been fatal. An Egyptian woman who had exposure to sick and dead poultry became the 19th fatality last week.
  • Vietnam has suffered the greatest number of H5N1 infections. To date 93 people in that country contracted avian flu, resulting in 42 deaths
  • Other countries with reported avian deaths include China, Cambodia Thailand, Turkey and Iraq.

Another excellent way to get a snap shot of avian influenza as it develops is on Google Earth. Researchers have created an excellent map of bird and human outbreaks. In order to view the map, you need to have Google Earth installed on your PC. The map overlays for avian flu are available here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

UV 911

From the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, word of an excellent application of UV—disinfection of ambulance interiors.

UV’s germicidal action makes it a perfect tool to sanitize the surfaces in an ambulance. After all, ambulance crews are our first responders and are likely to transport ill people in the case of an epidemic or pandemic. The article notes that UV-C is more effective on deactivating viruses than chlorine.

The article points out many of UV's benefits:

“UV-C lights have many advantages. They're environmentally friendly with no dangerous materials to handle or store, so employees won't need to handle any toxic chemicals. The lights are also immediately effective, economical and operator friendly. (Just flip a switch.) Maintenance is easy—periodic cleaning and annual lamp replacement should do it. Installation involves only simple wiring, timer switches and a power connection.”

Check out the complete article by clicking here. Although we do not design such application, the principle is the same for VIGILAIR HVAC protection systems.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Video Shows Iraqi Insurgents Firing Chemical Rockets

A video that surfaced on the internet today appears to show Iraqi Insurgents arming and firing chemical rockets. The minute long video ends with four of the alleged 'chemical' rockets being fired from a makeshift launcher. Is is just propaganda, or a legitimate video? So far there has been no independent confirmation of the attack. The rockets are believed to have been launched in the Samarra region of Iraq, which is about 124 kilometers north of Baghdad. Samarra was used as the primary facility for producing mustard gas and nerve agents during the Saddam Hussein regime, according to
Should this attack prove legitimate, it raises concerns that such chemical weapons could be used more widely in Iraq, and elsewhere. We will keep you posted on this developing story!