SAN DIEGO With a more intense wave of swine flu expected to hit this fall, San Diego's ambulance provider this month has begun sanitizing its rigs with a new fogging machine to prevent viruses and bacteria from gaining a foothold in the vehicles.
The machine, which was purchased by San Diego Medical Services Enterprise, sprays a nontoxic dry mist disinfectant into the sealed-up ambulance and destroys harmful particles that cling to surfaces, fabric, and electrical equipment and hard-to-reach crevices.
Near the end of the 10- to 15-minute cycle, the vehicle's engine is turned on, and the fog is circulated through the ambulance's air ducts.
San Diego Medical Services Enterprise plans to use the $40,000 device, made by Florida-based Zimek Technologies, on each of its 80 ambulances every month, or more often when needed. Employees will continue to use disinfecting wipes on the ambulances several times each day as well.
Company officials had considered buying the device for years but decided to do so this year due to the outbreak of swine flu, scientifically known as H1N1 influenza.
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