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A leading microbiologist from the University of Southampton has told a conference that his research has found copper is effective in inhibiting the influenza A H1N1 virus.
Copper appears to have broad spectrum antiviral activity because it is also effective, not only against RNA-based influenza, but also against DNA-based adenovirus 40/41 which causes gastrointestinal infections.
"With the ongoing threat of contamination by influenza A viruses, such as H1N1, there is a real and pressing need to utilise all appropriate and effective measures with proven antimicrobial qualities," commented Professor Keevil. "It is recognised that many infectious diseases are spread by hand contact and studies have now repeatedly shown that the use of copper as a surface material in key public places such as hospitals and food preparation areas offers the potential to substantially restrict and reduce the spread of harmful infection".