HONG KONG, March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The current outbreak of Influenza in Hong Kong has claimed 164 lives this year1. Among the reported cases, 232 were A (H3N2), six were B and nine were A pending subtype1. In addition to a growing strain on medical infrastructure and supplies, the prevalent mutated Influenza A (H3N2) virus has raised concerns that the current flu vaccine against the strain has a low protection rate3.
As Influenza cases continue to rise in Hong Kong this flu season, it is important to note that Influenza viruses are transmitted via droplets when people sneeze, cough or talk. They can be transmitted via direct person to person contact and indirectly via contaminated objects2.
The skin is often a routine source of infection transmission and the best way to prevent the spread of virus strains is to maintain good hygiene, clean hands and clean body3. Simple hygiene practices such as gargling and hand washing are among the principal means of preventing the transmission of flu4.
Encouragement of gargling is important for the control of opportunistic and community-acquired infections in Japan5. The death rate (per population) associated with influenza in Japan is less than one twenty-fifth of that in the US, despite implementing similar medical standards4.
Gargling to wash the throat is commonly performed in Japan and children are trained at a young age6. The primary goal is to encourage everyone to take precautions not only to prevent infection to themselves but also prevent as much human exposure to the virus as possible4.
A Japanese study, conducted at eight middle schools during the winter influenza season, showed a significant reduction of 20 per cent in influenza related absenteeism among children gargling with BETADINE®. The study demonstrated this as a useful method to prevent the common cold7.
Thus, it is important to gargle with an antiseptic gargle that can kill the influenza viruses. Furthermore, gargling can also soothe sore throat which is a common symptom of Flu8.
Furthermore, handwashing with an effective antiseptic cleanser increases the protection against viral infections. Povidone-iodine, the active ingredient in BETADINE® has proven to work against viruses.
Mundipharma paves the constructive path fighting any virus-borne disease and minimising its spread with good hygiene with the use of BETADINE® gargle and surgical scrub.
BETADINE® products have been used and are trusted as an antiseptic for more than 50 years and consistently demonstrate strong efficacy against high strain viruses. Over the last 5 decades, BETADINE® formulations featuring povidone iodine5,6,7, a broad spectrum antimicrobial, have shown to be rapidly effective across various tough virus strains including those causing pandemic outbreaks 5,9,10,11.
All tested BETADINE® formulations show an excellent virucidal efficacy as well as fast virucidal activity to relieve influenza symptoms. Demonstrating a reduction of more than 99.99% of viral titres, the time required for BETADINE® to kill the virus is further within the duration required for proper steps of hand hygiene recommended by established authorities such as WHO and CDC9,10,11.
The BETADINE® range includes products such as BETADINE® Antiseptic Solution, BETADINE® Surgical Scrub, and BETADINE® Skin Cleanser which have been widely used for skin disinfection and hand hygiene in hospitals and healthcare institutions globally, in the prevention of various hospital and community acquired infections. It also includes BETADINE® Gargle and mouthwash which relieves the symptoms of flu and can be used as a personal hygiene protective measure during high risks period 5,9,10,11.
Raman Singh, President, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa, commented: "The recent Influenza outbreak in Hong Kong is a very real threat to the region, but one that can be easily managed with the appropriate precautions. Mundipharma’s commitment to innovation and quality ensures that informed consumers are well-equipped to minimize the spread of viruses and fight the outbreak."
1. Centre for Health Promotion, Hong Kong Department of Health, Update of surveillance data in winter influenza season, February 2015
2. CDC Influenza Flu Basics [ Accessed on 12th Feb 2015: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm]
3. WHO, August 2014.
5. Shiraishi T. Nakagawa Y. Evaluation of the bactericidal activity of povidone-iodine and commercially available gargle preparations. Dermatology, 2002;204 Suppl 1:37-41
7. Shiraishi T. Nakagawa Y. Evaluation of the bactericidal activity of povidone-iodine and commercially available gargle preparations. Dermatology, 2002;204 Suppl 1:37-41
9. Ito H, et al. Dermatology 2006;212(suppl 1):115-118
10. Ito H, et al. Japan Chemotherapy Association Review. 2005;5320-22
11. Sriwilaijaroen W, et al. Virology Journal 2009;6:124 5. Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings. October 25, 2002 / 51(RR16);1-44
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