Superbugs, Cold and Flu Season and Hydrogen Peroxide

cold-and-fluCold and flu season is in full effect and this year is a doozy. Norovirus (stomach flu) is making the rounds and this year’s influenza shot is said to only be 60% effective.

On top of that, hospitals are reporting new superbugs have infiltrated their facilities. These superbugs, Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to name a few are part of an obscure family of bacteria that seem to be unstoppable against even the strongest antibiotics.

Making now, more than ever, a great time to shore up your immune system.

Kicking your Immune System into High Gear

Here on the blog, we’ve talked a lot about some of the best ways to keep your immune system tip-top — from getting enough rest, reducing stress, drinking plenty of liquids, regular exercise and holistic supplements to what to do to boost immunity if you’re already sick and bodywork modalities that help beat the bugs. But one thing we haven’t addressed is how to optimize your home environment to aid in your immunity.

superbugSuperbugs: Superbad

With antibiotic-resistant strains invading hospitals, it won’t be long before they’ve made their way into the rest of our world, becoming a commonplace threat to our health and well-being. Searching for solutions to the superbad problem of superbugs and hoping to combat a new plague before it starts, John Hopkins Hospital and others have begun studying a method first employed in Singapore during the 2002 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. It is something that Canadian researchers, with some variance, are playing with as well — hydrogen peroxide (H202).

R2D2 or Superbug eradicator? You decide.
R2D2 or Superbug eradicator? You decide.

Hydrogen Peroxide (H202): Nature’s Sanitizer

In the study at John Hopkins, “Infection Control Experts found that a combination of robot-like devices that disperse a bleaching agent into the air and then detoxify the disinfecting chemical are highly effective at killing and preventing the spread of multiple-drug-resistant bacteria.” In fact this disinfecting solution (containing H202 and applied by robots) reduced the spread of superbug contamination by 64%, even if the room had been occupied by a patient that had the superbugs.

According to the You Docs column in the Oregonian that features Oprah alum, Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, “when pumped into a room, [this combo] sterilizes everything: floors, ceilings, furniture, bathrooms, mattresses. (Bonus: It kills bed bugs.) MRSA, e. coli, c. difficile and other famously difficult bacteria keel over, as do viruses and molds.”


That’s powerful news for all of us this cold and flu season and for those of us living in the damp Pacific Northwest where molds flourish. The only drawback — the $40,000 price tag to have a robotic team deliver the solution and then neutralize it back into hydrogen and oxygen.

So how can the average person benefit from this breakthrough in sanitizing technology in their home environs?

H202 for Health: Cold Air Humidifiers

You may remember from our previous posts that we’re no strangers to the many health benefits of hydrogen peroxide. We’ve been using a $2 cold air humidifier we found at a yard sale, to get a similar sanitizing effect, with a solution of 1 oz of 35% food grade h2o2 to 1 gallon of water for the past 2 weeks. We run the humidifier on high and the tank usually lasts us three nights.

We started doing this after everyone we know (including us!) came down with a bad upper respiratory illness (we like to call “the lung crud”.) We’d read that the use of a humidifier at night while sleeping helps with many lung issues, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

We, of course, are not infection control experts or doctors but in the research we examined, a simple cold air humidifier had the same effect as using the expensive delivery systems on the market.

(NOTE: You should be sure to do your own research and seek the guidance of your physician or professionals in the industry, if you have questions or plans to institute your own system.)

Having both been smokers in our past (Esther was once a heavy smoker for 20 years, 2 packs plus/day) and after getting “the crud,” we decided it was a good time to start our humidifier regimen. We both feel that our lungs are clearer and that we have a bigger capacity for oxygen intake now.

Because H202 is natural and easily available, it makes for an inexpensive and environmentally friendly solution and that won’t spawn other super bugs in your home. But there are risks that should be examined before using H202. Please be diligent and do get the proper research and advice for employing its use.

Here’s to your health!

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