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Why Aren't We Using This to Defeat Viruses

For places that can cure you, it is easy to feel unwell during hospitalization. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense-this is where hundreds or even thousands of sick and contagious people gather. Cough, sneeze, touch everything, and cover the surface with traces of infectious liquid that are invisible to the naked eye.

If you are unlucky, you may even encounter drug-resistant super bacteria like MRSA and huge medical expenses. If this makes you more nervous during your next hospital stay, rest assured that this old problem can be solved. The answer is copper. The problem is that few hospitals actually use copper alloy surfaces. Let's take a look at the incredible antibacterial properties of this often overlooked element and why it is not widely used.

Copper and humans go very far. This humble metal is actually the earliest copper object used by humans, and its history can be traced back to the Middle East in 5100 BC. In the early days of the United States, one-cent coins were made of pure copper, and today we are mainly using zinc-based copper alloys. For good reason, it is the third most used metal in the world. It is malleable, making it easy to form and conduct electricity.

This is why it is the backbone of wires and pipes, agriculture and even some forms of birth control. In 1852, French physician Victor Burq accidentally discovered another medical application of copper in the modern world. He is visiting a copper smelter in the third district of Paris. By the way, the smelting process uses extremely high heat to extract pure metals from ores. Burke was disgusted by the conditions of the factory. He found the conditions of the factory to be unsatisfactory.

Burq called the average death rate of smelter factory workers "poor." However, he not only had to insult the factory, but he had to do more work-he noticed a fascinating pattern in recent years. Throughout the 1800s, Paris has been the victim of numerous deadly cholera outbreaks. The disease suffered devastating blows in 1832, 1849 and 1852. However, in each case, the infection rate and mortality rate of people working in copper smelters are much lower than the general population. Dr. Burke found that their common occupation was the common ground here, so he wanted to investigate further.

If you are like us and have been studying the history of epidemiology, then you may immediately think of smallpox that broke out in the 1700s. The doctor found that the rate of smallpox infections of milkmaids who had previously had cowpox was much lower. They discovered that this was because antibodies produced from vaccinia infections strengthened the immune system against smallpox. Like a milkmaid, hundreds of copper workers from the same factory managed to completely avoid the outbreak of cholera, which prevented those unfortunate people from scalding hot metal all day.

As a result, Dr. Burke expanded his research and found that this trend was echoed in many professions involving copper, including goldsmiths, boilermakers, jewelers, and even brass band musicians. He made a major discovery here. During the cholera outbreak in 1865-yes, there were many cholera outbreaks in Paris-about 3. Seven out of every 1,000 people die. For copper workers, this percentage is much lower, with only 0.45 deaths per 1,000 people due to infectious diseases. It is surrounded by copper and covered with copper particles, which protects copper workers from infection.

Dr. Burq reached an incredible conclusion. After conducting the same research on more than 400 companies and about 200,000 people in Europe by 1867, he presented his findings to the French Academy of Sciences, saying: Dr. Burke is absolutely right.

They did not yet have the technology to fully understand the process of this phenomenon, but when everyone around was sick, copper coating did indeed protect the copper workers from infection. What is really crazy is that copper has actually been used for medical reasons thousands of years ago.
Smith papyrus is one of the oldest written records currently available, documenting the use of copper to disinfect chest wounds and drinking water between 2600 and 2200 BC. The warriors of ancient Egypt and Babylon had the same idea. They used copper shavings on their weapons to disinfect the wounds. battlefield. They don't know why, but they know that this wonderful material can save lives and prevent fatal infections.

Now, modern science tells us the exact reason here. The antibacterial properties of copper come from its ion deposition. When foreign objects (such as bacteria) land on the surface of copper or one of its alloys, the bacteria recognize copper ions as essential nutrients and therefore begin to absorb them. However, as more and more copper ions enter the battery, the ion dose becomes lethal. These levels of copper ions are dangerous to bacteria because the influx of ions disrupts the stability of the cell's microcurrent (called transmembrane potential) and effectively short-circuits the bacterial membrane.

This will destroy the integrity of the membrane and allow more copper ions to flood into the cell, thereby severely disrupting the cell's metabolic capacity and ultimately destroying its DNA and RNA to kill it. It can sometimes even complete this process in just a few minutes, and the types of microorganisms it can kill are indeed impressive, including MRSA, E. coli, Norovirus, coronavirus and strains resistant to Staphylococcus. Copper is a stubborn microorganism killing machine.

When the traces of bacteria or viruses are sprayed into the air by means of coughing or sneezing, they can stay on normal surfaces for several days after initial contact under the correct conditions. Carelessly touching the wrong surface will seriously endanger your health. However, on copper surfaces, the lifespan of microorganisms is rarely sufficient to cause any harm. Michael Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, believes that the use of copper in hospitals and in areas with heavy traffic such as public spaces and public transportation can prevent countless infections.

In American hospitals, 1 in 31 people eventually get a health care infection. In the United States, there are approximately 36 million inpatients each year, which means that the use of copper cables in hospitals may prevent tens of thousands of healthcare infections each year. In fact, increasing the use of copper in our hospitals and public places is not a real progress, but a retrogression, because copper has actually been used more frequently in the past.

As a reservation since then, the handrails of Grand Central Station in New York are still copper, protecting millions of commuters and tourists from infection. It is really really difficult to bring it back to other places, especially considering all it will do? Professor Schmidt did not believe that the hospital would take a life-saving leap due to the upfront costs. When asked why the hospital no longer used copper from the beginning, he said: "What happened is our own arrogance, and our love for plastics and other materials took our place. We started with copper beds, copper Railings and copper door handles have turned to stainless steel, plastic and aluminum.

So, when the threat posed by global epidemics is greater than ever, why are governments around the world lagging behind in this regard? As mentioned earlier, the biggest obstacle to installing copper everywhere is cost. The cost of installing copper cables on only 10% of the most risky surfaces in hospitals is about $ 52,000, while the cost of owning more than 6,000 hospitals in the United States is increasing rapidly. However, Professor Schmidt believes that it is wrong to look at costs in this way. In the United States, the total cost of infections obtained from healthcare every year is indeed disastrous.

Each year, 99,000 deaths are related to healthcare-related infections, and the cost of treating all infections is between $ 35. 7 and 45 billion US dollars per year. Let ’s calculate this number: the average cost of treating each infection caused by health care is about $ 28,400 to $ 33,800. Professor Schmidt and his colleague Bill Keevil found that in 338 days, 10% of the hospital's surface was coated with copper, which reduced the number of infections by 14 compared with normal people. 

Even with the estimated minimum cost of infection treatment obtained by healthcare (US $ 28,400), the investment cost of the device is still about 13 times that of itself, saving a total of US $ 397,600.
You cannot argue with these results. With these figures, it is safe to assume that if the copper coverage is increased above 10%, more money will be saved-and more importantly, more patient lives. Facts have proved that only changes in copper bed frames and copper door handles can effectively reduce the infection rate caused by medical care in the medical environment.

Although copper, like all elements, is the ultimate limited resource, it seems that we will not exhaust it soon. According to the data from the Copper Alliance, there are currently 830 million tons of copper. If we continue to use our current copper consumption, we will continue to supply us for 46 years.

Although in reality, we will have a longer supply of copper, because copper is one of the most recycled metals in the world. Similarly, even if it oxidizes and appears green, copper never seems to really lose its antibacterial properties, which means yes, the Statue of Liberty is still sterile and strong. The copper investment is a lifetime investment, and Keevil and Schmidt ’s research has proved that copper installation can theoretically recover the cost within two months.

Thankfully, some people have noticed the incredible antibacterial properties of the copper surface. The Chilean theme park Fantasilandia uses copper on the most extensive surface in the park to reduce the spread of disease. If you have children, or know children, you will know that they have touched the entire garden, and then immediately put your hand in your mouth.The copper surface really helps to suppress the potential infection vectors in the theme park, so Fantasia can really go further.

The airport is also brewing this idea. Atlanta Airport has installed copper for fifty water bottle filling stations to prevent repeated use of microbial residues from harming any airport customers. The use of this copper surface and more copper surfaces in various commercial and public places may help to suppress public infection rates. If copper was introduced into the public and hospital environment earlier, some people even speculated that some of our current virus problems may have been reduced, although no one can say for sure.

To answer our first question: Copper is an incredible antibacterial miracle, why do n’t hospitals use copper? Like many of the greatest evils in the world, the root cause of all these problems seems to be misinformation. According to Professor Kivir, when doctors think of antimicrobial metals, they most often cite silver as the most practical option. But that is not the case. Not only is silver more expensive than copper, but it also has antibacterial properties only when wet.

Copper does not require any additional treatment to have an effective antibacterial effect. Many people also theoretically explained a shallow reason why the world is reluctant to adopt copper as a common surface metal: maintaining the appearance is much more difficult than steel, plastic and glass Copper loses its luster and loses its color over time, but it does not lose its antibacterial properties. People like Professor Schmidt and Professor Kiville, now maybe you can only hope that governments around the world can overcome aesthetic discrimination based on metal and change their minds.
Why Aren't We Using This to Defeat Viruses Why Aren't We Using This to Defeat Viruses Reviewed by ViralBlossom on April 24, 2020 Rating: 5

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