The Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HKHA) selected IQAir’s advanced air filtration systems as a tool for combating the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses.
This decision was made after rigorous testing for virus control by the statutory body that was put in charge of managing all the government hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong.
Need help choosing an air purifier to protect you against viruses and bacteria?
What is SARS-CoV-1
This disease was the first instance of a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by a coronavirus (1).
SARS-CoV-1 is spread through the inhalation of respiratory droplets and aerosols exhaled by infected people and through contact with the surfaces they touched (2).
The World Health Organization identified it as this century’s “first severe and readily transmissible new disease,” and noted that international air travel helped it spread from its origins in China to over two dozen countries in Asia, North America, South America, and Europe before the illness was contained.
Though some suspected cases of SARS-CoV-1 were among children under 15 years of age, most of the cases were among adults 25 to 70 years of age, and most of those patients had reported to be previously healthy before becoming infected with the virus.
The World Health Organization placed the fatality rate of patients who met the WHO’s definition for probable and suspected cases of SARS-CoV-1 at around 3%.
The search for the best air cleaner for viruses
During the 2003 epidemic, the Hong Kong region was one of the worst affected areas with 1755 reported SARS-CoV-1 cases (376 of which concerned healthcare workers), resulting in a total of 300 deaths.
At that time, the HKHA focused on special engineering controls as part of their strategy in the fight against SARS-CoV-1. In order to find the most effective and reliable solution, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of the Hong Kong Government performed rigorous tests on induct HVAC systems and room air cleaners.
With the help of sophisticated laser particle counters that record the number of particles in the air, even those down below the size of a virus, the EMSD tested the actual filtration efficiency of numerous air filtration systems. After weeks of testing and the installation of several trial systems, the HKHA finally chose IQAir as the only room air cleaner for SARS-CoV-1 patients’ rooms.
The system they decided was the best air purifier for viruses was the IQAir HealthPro Plus connected to an IQAir FlexVac mobile source capture system.
The HKHA’s selection of IQAir’s HealthPro Plus systems for its 43 hospitals and 47 outpatient clinics marked the first time that specialized room air cleaners were used as a control measure against SARS-CoV-1.
Inside the HealthPro Plus
These high-performance air purifiers have patented HyperHEPA filtration technology and are tested and certified by an independent third-party lab to filter 99.5% of harmful airborne particles down to 0.003 microns – the size of the smallest of viruses.
This technology makes the HealthPro plus superior to other HEPA filter air purifiers.
Besides the HyperHEPA filter, each HealthPro Plus has three additional filtration stages: the Pre Max micro-particle filter and the V5 Cell filter that contains granular activated carbon adsorption and pelletized chemisorption.
As with all the air purifiers that IQAir provides, each system sent to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority was individually tested at the factory to verify the HyperHEPA filtration met IQAir’s exacting standards.
Total system efficiency – the actual air coming out of the outlet – was analyzed and each HealthPro Plus was found to be delivering 99.97% cleaner air or better before they were shipped to Hong Kong.
Explore the full range of HealthPro HyperHEPA air purifiers
A new disease requires continued assistance
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority once more relied on IQAir technology to help combat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which was identified in China in late 2019. This signaled HKHA’s belief that the HealthPro Plus was the best room air purifier for COVID.
In the ensuing global pandemic, over 615 million confirmed cases were recorded and over 6.5 million people were confirmed to have lost their lives due to COVID-19 (as of October 3, 2022) (3).
While most people infected with the virus face mild to moderate respiratory distress and recover without hospitalization, the elderly and individuals with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of developing a serious illness and of dying from complications of the disease.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, IQAir provided HealthPro Plus air purifiers to hospitals in Wuhan, China, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus was originally detected.
First to receive the purifiers were the radiology unit, respiratory unit, and others at Tongji Hospital, affiliated with the Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Air purifiers were additionally provided to Wuhan Union Hospital.
As with all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 is changing over time. Some of those changes impact how easily the virus is spread, the severity of the disease it causes and the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutic medicines. This is one of the reasons that the World Health Organization recommends a continuation of infection prevention and control measures.
Besides helping to combat SARS and COVID-19, IQAir’s HealthPro Plus has been used by hospitals and medical centers around the world to reduce the spread of swine flu, bird flu, and other diseases caused by airborne viruses.
In addition to the HealthPro Plus and related HyperHEPA air purifiers, IQAir’s air quality technology also includes room air purifiers for people with multiple chemical sensitivities, whole-house air filter systems, portable air purifiers, commercial air purifiers and protective face masks.