Media hype or do we have anything to really worry about? How best to disinfect your site.
What classifies a virus as a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are RNA viruses that are surrounded by an outer coating comprised of a lipid bi-layer (water-insoluble fatty coating). Enveloped viruses spread through a “budding off” process during which a new virus becomes wrapped in an outer coating. However, if this layer is dissolved, these viruses are relatively easy to kill—making them more susceptible to disinfectants than non-enveloped viruses. The Novel Coronavirus therefore falls into a category of viruses that are most susceptible to disinfectants.
So, we know that detergent based products will not be effective against any of the above and we also know that many of the disinfectants on the market today are limited in being validated against killing spores.
In the UK our approach to Infection “Prevention” is fairly limited, we tend to deal with outbreaks as they arise, after much disruption and cost, instead of having robust preventative measures in place.
I have for some years now been promoting a “whole room” disinfection approach; what does that mean I hear you ask? Well, a traditional clean of a room will treat approximately 30% of surfaces in that room, not bad really, but the problem is the bacteria can be (and probably is) all over that room and any that is not eradicated will quickly grow back!
So, a “whole room” approach is required, using a dry mist 5% hydrogen peroxide fogging treatment. This technology ensures a validated 99.9999% disinfection leaving little chance of the room not being properly disinfected.
It used to be that only hospitals and laboratories required a high-level disinfection process, this is no longer the case; everywhere that people congregate requires an appropriate level of protection against viruses, bacteria and spores. The sooner we accept that this level of treatment is not a luxury, but an essential element of the cleaning regime, the quicker we will be able to feel comfortable in public or work spaces such as offices, shops, hotels, bars, cinemas, libraries, public transport, etc.
How do we prevent and disinfect against COVID-2019 Novel Coronavirus?
When preventing the further spread of the Novel Coronavirus, it is critical to listen to guidelines put forth by government protection agencies. According to the CDC, in the absence of an available vaccine against COVID-19, the best way to prevent against infection is to avoid exposure to the virus and take standard preventative actions to respiratory illness (e.g. wash hands; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoid close contact with people who are sick).
When it comes to disinfecting environments that have been exposed to the virus, Public Health England (PHE) has determined that the COVID-19 has met the conditions outlined in the PHE’s emerging viral pathogens guidance, meaning eligible products can apply to receive kill claim amendments for the coronavirus. This process helps assist healthcare facilities to select a vetted disinfectant against coronavirus. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended using a hospital-grade disinfectant effective against enveloped viruses.
By Mark Dickinson