HOUSTON - After a steep decline, the Centers for Disease Control is now reporting an uptick in flu-like symptoms nationwide. Most of the confirmed cases are H1N1, commonly known as Swine Flu.
In the past four months, 225 American children have died from influenza and the vast majority of those deaths are blamed on H1N1.
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, in west Houston, is taking steps to stay out of those statistics, using a small army of silver cylinders called CleaneAir Towers.
“We have had some incidents of Swine Flu here at the church,” says facilities manager Carter Bliss. “We were pretty aggressive in our conventional cleaning methods. This process just augments that and improves it and makes it more effective.”
Each of the four-foot tall towers is placed in a day-care room for about 8 hours.
They use electro-catalytic technology to zap viruses, bacteria and fungus without leaving a residue, says CleaneAir president Vaughan Pederson.
“It sterilizes the surfaces of the rooms,” says Pederson, “all the kids' playthings and their chairs, all the surfaces of the walls, and it gets places that you could never get with Clorox and a rag.”
At the same time, Pederson says, the tower is also cleansing the air in the room by circulating it through a chamber containing hydrogen peroxide vapor.
“We’re looking forward to H1N1 going away,” says Fox News Medical contributor Cynara Coomer, MD. “But it'll probably drag on for the next couple of months, probably up until about March.”
Inoculation remains the best way to ward off the flu, and there are two separate vaccinations: one for seasonal flu and another for H1N1.
The CDC reports almost 100-million doses of the H1N1 vaccine have now been shipped out.