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Posted On: 4 July 2013 12:25 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

New face mask to combat coronavirus

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New data presented at the International Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) 2013 in Geneva has provided a welcome relief for pilgrims planning for visiting the Holy City of Makkah and concerned about the recent coronavirus outbreaks in Saudi Arabia. Viroblock SA, a Swiss start-up, have developed a novel face-mask containing technology that traps and kills over 99.9995 percent of H1N1 flu viruses (swine flu), 99.999 percent of H5N1 flu viruses (avian flu) and 99.997 percent human corona viruses on pass through air. Aimed at helping protect people from these respiratory pathogens, the mask is up to one hundred times more effective than a similar mask without Viroblock technology. With latest reports of as many as 55 people infected with Sars-like coronavirus in Saudi, killing 33 in total, and large numbers of Muslims expected to travel to Makkah during Ramadan and in October for the annual Haj pilgrimage, the technology can be used to assist in reducing the risk and incidence of airborne-transmitted infection. “Aerobiology tests for face-masks simulate real life situations, in which the user is exposed to viruses coming in. The mask helps prevent transmission from and to the person wearing the mask,” said Dr Thierry Pelet, CSO at Viroblock. “The stringent testing demonstrates the efficacy and speed at which the cholesterol depletion technology works.” Aerobiology tests, carried out in high security laboratories, create a mist of viruses on the outside of the mask, a pump is used to draw air and viruses through the mask, and finally testing for live virus occurs on the inside of the mask.