Repeated airborne infections of the bacteria acinetobacter in an intensive care ward have been eliminated by the installation of a negative air ioniser.
In the first such epidemiological study, researchers found that the infection rate fell to zero during the year long trial. "We were absolutely astounded to find such clear cut results," engineer Clive Begg at the University of Leeds, UK, told New Scientist.
Stephen Dean, a consultant at the St James's Hospital in Leeds where the trial took place says: "The results have been fantastic - so much so that we have asked the university to leave the ionisers with us."
The ionisers produce negative air ions that collide with suspended particles and give them a charge. The scientists believe charged particles aggregate together and fall out of the air, thereby disinfecting the atmosphere and stopping the transmission of infection.
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