The Zika virus is a flavivirus borne by mosquitoes that was discovered in Uganda in 1947. It was found in monkeys while the researchers were attempting to trace the growth of yellow fever. It was later found in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The virus has been reported in Africa, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific. The disease was reported from 1960 to 1980 in Africa and Asia  but only accompanied by mild symptoms. The first large outbreak of the virus was reported from the Island of Yap or the Federated States of Micronesia in 2007. In July of 2015, Brazil reported they had discovered a connection between the Zika virus and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Finally, in 2015, Brazil began to see pregnant mothers infected with the virus resulting in microcephaly in their newborns.

*(A flavivirus is a genus of the family flaviviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses that are transmitted by arthropod vectors and especially by ticks and mosquitoes and that include the causative agents of Dengue, Zika, Japanese B encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, West Nile Fever, and Yellow Fever.) *

Aedes Aegypti

The Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the genus Aedes and primarily from the Aedes Aegypti. This mosquito is also the primary carrier of yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya. Zika may also be transmitted sexually. There is no vaccine for this virus and it has been discovered within the continental United States.

Reported Cases by State and Territory

The following map is public domain information and is reprinted by permission from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA.

Warnings

The Center for Disease Control has issued an alert for travel to areas where Zika virus is spreading, which now includes Miami-Dade County, Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands.

Symptoms

There are no symptoms in most cases. It is also possible that Zika will create a paralysis in the human body known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Birth defects may be caused in unborn children. When symptoms appear, they may be mild such as fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The focus of treatment is on relieving symptoms by rest, re-hydration, and over the counter medications for fever and pain. This virus requires a medical diagnosis.

Air Pollution and Contaminants

The air we breathe gets contaminated. It is a complicated natural gaseous system that we need to live on this planet. Into this air comes a host of things that are and can grow into things that create disease in our bodies. The people who study pollutants classify them into primary and secondary entities. Primary pollutants are produced as a byproduct of some process such as motor vehicle exhaust fumes, or chemicals released from factories. Secondary pollutants do not come to us directly, but appear as a result of a chemical or biological reaction that takes place when primary pollutants interact.

We humans are very good at putting things in the air that don’t really belong there. The list is never ending and includes nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, toxic metals, chlorofluorocarbons, ammonia, odors from garbage, radioactive byproducts, ozone, peroxyacetyl nitrate, and many different organic compounds.

We also have contaminants that live inside our homes. Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality inside and around buildings or dwellings. IAQ is impacted by carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates, microbial contaminants, radon, mold, and bacteria. Because humans have decided to continue smoking tobacco, second hand smoke also lingers in the air. Many American homes are also impacted by an atomic gas called radon. This is a gas resulting from the decay of radium which is found in the earth in rock formations.

It is also important to mention the types of pollutants that are common to the state of Alabama and specifically, the Birmingham-Hoover area. The website www3.EPA.gov monitors the air quality in any city of the United States. These measurements of data are updated every ten minutes and can be seen by navigating to https://www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data/monitor-values-report-hazardous-air-pollutants. You will discover the primary contaminants listed for the Birmingham-Hoover area are lead, cadmium, manganese, chromium, nickel, and arsenic.

Air Filtration

In order to rid ourselves of these many pollutants and contaminants, laboratory scientists have developed the means by which air can be cleaned, cleared, and healthier to breathe. The process of air filtration is the process of moving air through a filtering system in order to make it healthier for us. In an air filtration system, air must pass through a well designed and comprehensive filter that uses a variety of means to clean the air. Air may go through one filter or a series of filters.

There are a variety of air filters designed throughout the years that provide different qualities of filtering. The particulate air filter is the most common type. It is composed of a fibrous material that removes solid particles along with dust, mold, and bacteria. There are also chemical filters and filters that use foam, pleated paper, fiberglass, and electrostatically charged  ions.

The Impact of Air Filtration

So, what is the overall effect and impact of having a good filtration system in your home, office, building, or school? What do they really do for us? Is there scientific proof positive that having an air filtration system will increase your overall quality of health? The answer is, yes! There is scientific proof that air filters can put you in a better state of health.

Consider the study done in 2013 and published in Indoor Air. The following information was found to be consistent with data.

“In the study, lung function, blood pressure, and endothelial function measures were collected at the beginning and end of each week…On average, air filter use was associated with a 217-ml increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 second, a 7.9-mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 4.5-mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure. Consistent inverse associations were also observed between indoor PM2.5 and lung function. In general, our findings suggest that reducing indoor PM2.5 may contribute to improved lung function in First Nations communities.”

In other words, the people in the study who breathed the air from air filters breathed easier and had a lower blood pressure.

The REME HALO

Twenty years ago, RGF Environmental introduced a process of using ionized hydrogen peroxide to clean and eradicate contaminants from the air. This company is a leading company in increasing indoor air quality in industrial, hospital, military, commercial, and home environments. The REME HALO is the result of two decades of work related to increasing indoor air quality.

Hydroperoxides are found in nature and are a naturally occurring cleaning agent on our planet. This element is what makes the air smell so clean after a rain and are created by a combination of water, sun and the ions from lightening bolts.

The REME HALO is an in-duct air purifier that has the capacity to clean every cubic inch of your home, office, or commercial application. It has proven effective in cleaning the air of microbials, particulates, pollutants, and gases.

Test results indicate the REME HALO is at least 99% effective in dealing with the following situations.

  1. Sneeze Test: The REME HALO will kill viruses expelled by a human sneeze within 3 ft of its origin.
  2. Avian Influenza, Bird Flu. 99%+ Inactivation
  3. H1N1 Swine Flu. 99%+Inactivation
  4. Norovirus/Norwalk Virus. 99%+Inactivation
  5. Bacillius Globigii Bacteria. 99%+Inactivation
  6. Bacillus Cereus/B. Cereus Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  7. Diff./ Clostridium Difficile Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  8. Coli/ Pathogenic Escheria Coli Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  9. Legionella Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  10. Listeria Monocytogenes Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  11. MRSA Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  12. Pseudomonas Sp. Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  13. Salmonella Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  14. Staph/Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  15. Streptococcus Pneumoniae Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  16. Streptococcus Sp/Strep Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  17. Tuberculosis Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  18. Mold/Yeast Bacteria 99%+Inactivation
  19. Stachybotrys Chartarum – Fungus,Mold – 99%+Inactivation
  20. Ethylene C2H4 VOC
  21. Formaldehyde CH20 VOC
  22. Chemical Compounds VOC
  23. Odors: Perfume, Pet Odors, Cleaning Chemicals
  24. Smoke Odors
  25. Suspended Particle Reduction – REME
  26. Ozone – EMF – Safety Test
  27. Electrical Safety Test

The tests done were performed by independent laboratories and universities using advanced oxidation plasma of less than .02ppm. RGF products are not medical devices and no medical claims are made by the REME HALO or RGF Environmental. No known air purifier or the REME HALO will have a cleaning or otherwise purifying effect on the Zika Virus as this virus is carried by mosquitoes and can be transmitted by sexual activity. It is not the intention of this article to indicate or represent that the REME HALO is useful for eradicating the Zika Virus.

However, should you find your home, office or commercial environment contaminated with other contaminants as outlined herein, air filtration and the REME HALO would be the technology of choice to rid yourself of these contaminants.

To find out more about air filtration and the REME HALO, contact Freedom Heating and Cooling at 239-848-6533