Emerging infectious diseases include both new and existing ones that are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range. Fifty years ago when vaccines were introduced, it was optimisticly thought that infectious disease problems had been solved. This resulted in a period of complacency and reduced vigilance, which was followed by the emergence of new catastrophic diseases such as influenza, AIDS, SARS and Avian flu. These catastrophes diseases have raised international awareness resulting in increased preparedness for a quick response. As developing appropriate vaccines and therapies is a lengthy process, deployment of other innovative methods of killing viruses such as ViroForce is critically important.
Clostridium difficile, commonly called C. difficile, is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and other serious intestinal conditions. It is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and long-term care facilities in the industrialized world. The Avon study in England calculated that Norovirus and C. difficile cost a hospital US$2.38 million per annum. Based on studies such as these it is calculated the aggregated cost of these two diseases in hospitals in Canada, the US and the UK is US$21.126 billion per annum. And these costs do not include those associated with MSRA.
Swine Flu H1N1
The latested data from World Health Organisation, WHO, September 25th 2009, evidences 300,000 lab H1N1 reported cases with close to 4000 deaths in 191 countires.
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)
This is a bacterium that lives on the skin and the nose of about 25% of the population. Normally, this bacterium can cause infections such as boils and abscesses. In hospitals it causes more serious infections that can be both debilitating and sometimes lethal. Some strains such as EMSRA spread very easily. In England there have been sixteen strains of EMSRA identified, with an increase of 25% from 1990 to 41% in 2003. In the US there is a high degree of MRSA (20%) relative to Europe. The table below shows how devastating MRSA can be to hospital patients, with 2X the mortality and length of hospital stay associated with antibiotic resistance infections.
Surgical Site Infections in Canadian Hospitals
|Median cost ($)||29,455||52,791||92,363||<0.001|
Current Disinfection Solutions
The present technology used by the health care and cruise ship industries to fight these diseases employs a manual cleaning process in conjunction with disinfecting liquids such as accelerated H²O². This is a physical cleaning process that is labour intensive, low-tech and often unreliable because it is not uniform in its application. The increasing frequency of infectious disease outbreaks requires a new and innovative solution to the problem.