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April 06, 2020

Microbes: The good, the bad and the ugly

We all have microbes on our mind at the moment - with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic affecting our daily lives it would be hard not to. There has been a lot of talk about microbes and how they can affect us, and so we wanted to clear up some of the mystery surrounding them. We also wanted to share about our anti-microbial kits and how they are a great solution for anyone who is looking to replace their PVC strip curtains. This is especially helpful at this time because ours have a built-in antimicrobial resistance. 

What are microbes?

The term microbe is a scientific term used to describe bacteria and other single-cell organisms, such as amebas, slime mould and viruses. Some scientists would argue that viruses are not microbes as they are considered to be ‘non-living’ and are unable to replicate by themselves, but the field of microbiology which is concerned with microbes would argue heavily that they are.

Microbes can be found almost anywhere on earth and can survive in real extreme temperatures - from ice-cold Antarctic sea ice to boiling-hot hydrothermal vents - and everywhere in between! There are also good microbes and bad microbes - some bacteria can help us to digest our food while others, such as E.Coli, can be harmful to human life.

Microbes are a fascinating branch of science, and scientists are constantly finding new species and families of microbes - they have been around so long, after all, that they tend to evolve in more complicated ways than other multicellular life. 

But what do microbes have to do with us here at Strip Curtains Direct, and more importantly, why should you care?

Well, understanding microbes are essential if you want to know how to combat disease, and how infectious diseases, such as bird flu and COVID-19, are spread.

How are infectious diseases spread?

Infectious diseases can be caused by bacteria (microbes), viruses and fungi. The most common way that infectious diseases are spread is through contact with a person who already has the disease.  This can be through touching the person (such as shaking their hand) or if they cough or sneeze near you.

The disease can also be passed through indirect contact, as microbes can live on inanimate objects, such as door handles, kitchen surfaces or toilet flushing mechanisms. If you touch a doorknob that has previously been touched by someone with a cold, you can pick up the virus that he or she left behind. If you then touch your mouth, nose or face before washing your hands, then you are more at risk of becoming infected.

Now for the science bit…

How can our Anti-Microbial PVC Strip curtains help?

At the moment we are suffering from a global Pandemic called Coronavirus or COVID-19. Coronavirus COVID-19 is an enveloped virus, so-called because of its fatty outer membrane or ‘envelope’.

Several of the active substances we use in our anti-microbial strips have been successfully tested against other enveloped viruses, such as Influenza, Avian flu and SARS. It would be reasonable to imply that those same active substances would be effective against COVID-19, but at this stage testing against COVID-19 is not available.

Irrespective of the efficacy of the active substances against other enveloped viruses, we would consider it critical that antiviral claims are made only after the actual material or product has been tested. The very evident variation in performance of an active substance incorporated into different materials, or even into different grades of the same material, means that it would be unwise to infer efficacy in one material simply because an action has proven performance in another.

anti microbial strip curtain kit

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is significantly more expensive than antibacterial testing, which is understandably prohibitive for some companies. However, an anti-virus test certificate for ‘ABS’ or ‘Polycarbonate’ should be considered irrelevant unless the testing was carried out in your specific grade of ABS or your specific grade of polycarbonate.

In other words, we can’t prove that our Anti-Microbial strip curtains will prevent you from suffering from COVID-19 - and we would never try to claim that. However, our anti-microbial bulk roll has been proven to be effective at stopping the growth of microorganisms. This makes them suitable for use in any commercial environment where cleanliness and hygiene are important - such as food processing plants, hospitals and production environments.

At the moment, we are all dealing with many stresses and strains on our businesses (and in life in general) due to the global pandemic.  Here at Strip Curtains Direct, we wanted to do what we can to help. So, as we said at the start of this article, we are offering our loyal customers antimicrobial replacement strips for the same price as our standard grade (while stocks last). If we can help you, then please get in touch on 0333 999 7171 or email us at