With Coronavirus the hot topic and our flu season quickly approaching are we at risk of being underprepared for the usual onslaught of pathogens that haunt our offices, schools and public transport systems this year.
Well the good news is probably no more than usual but there is more that can be done.
Every year we are encouraged to get out there and get our flu shot, we are reminded to wash out hands regularly, sneeze into our arms and if we are not feeling well stay home. Oh and always carry around a small bottle of sanitizer for added protection. What we rarely discuss is how the environment around us is protected against the germs that regularly infect us and how are those environments getting cleaned.
What we know about the Disease COVID 19.
What we know about the disease COVID – 19 is it is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 but regardless of what we call it, it hangs around. Studies are suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces from 4 to 9 days and although not airborne, droplets can be dispersed up to 8 meters through coughing and sneezing and stay suspended in the air for anything up to 10 min. What we also know is that people are contagious during the incubation stage or in other words well before they are displaying signs of being infected.
We also know now that SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, which are much easier to kill then non-enveloped virus and that testing against the globally accepted surrogate, feline coronavirus results are positive with many of the market leading hospital grade disinfectants killing feline coronavirus.
So what can I do to protect my employees?
Under new WHS regulations employers have a legal obligation to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees and this will include exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or other pathogens that are responsible for outbreaks in office environments.
As we all know current measures like the annual flu shot, personal hygiene and good cleaning will go along way to preventing Outbreaks in the office but the one new feature that needs to be considered with SARS-CoV-2 is if a non-symptomatic employee with COVID – 19 comes to work and contaminates surfaces with SARS-CoV-2, how many of your staff can be infected before that surface is adequately cleaned. Unfortunately, in 4 to 9 days, the answer is a lot.
Current market leading disinfectants and alcohol hand sanitizers will go along way to killing SARS-CoV-2 but they do not offer lasting protection. Most of these products only work while the active ingredients are in wet contact with pathogens. So, for example leading surface spray disinfectants need to be sprayed on a clean surface till wet and left for 10 minutes to airdry as per the directions of use. However, once it has dried surfaces can be instantly contaminated as the active ingredients are no longer active.
Here’s the problem, if a non-symptomatic employee with COVID – 19 is at work they will contaminate surfaces. Even if you clean those contaminated surfaces with a market leading disinfectant you still have the problem of the infected employee still being at work. Due to COVID – 19 sufferer been non symptomatic it is highly unlikely that they will self-quarantine as they don’t know their actually infected with SARS-CoV-2. This will allow them to continue to contaminate surfaces leaving other workers exposed to contracting the virus. So, unless you are cleaning regularly and by that, I mean multiple times a day there is a good chance your team will be infected.
New technology to help prevent against outbreaks in high human traffic environments
Products like Outbreak Prevention Barrier (OPB) hospital grade surface spray are offering a new level of prevention against contamination of surfaces in high human traffic environments subsequently leading to outbreaks. This includes offices, schools, aged care facilities, healthcare facilities and even public transport and here’s how.
OPB is applied wet but continues to kill when dry and has been independently tested effective against enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2 with prolonged effectiveness for up to 28 days once applied.
OPB is a unique nontoxic film forming hospital grade disinfectant with the active ingredient being developed by BioProtect and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It works by bonding with surfaces and creating an antimicrobial barrier of active ingredients that remain in place ready to kill pathogens over and over offering lasting protection on surfaces. The film is made up of a microscopic long molecular chain of spears that pierce the pathogens rupturing the outer envelope and killing the pathogens on contact.
Its application is also unique. OPB is applied by generating a mist of the surface spray, this mist is allowed to completely fill the space bonding to all surfaces offering complete coverage of your environment. Once applied it is allowed to airdry and unlike most other surface disinfectants this is when it starts to work killing 99.99% of pathogens for up to 28 days and protecting surface multiple times against contamination.
This simple application also means minimal downtime. The team at Outbreak Prevention can attend outside hours of operation. Carry out the application process and have your team protected in under 2 hours per.
OPB is currently being used in schools, childcare centres, officer buildings and healthcare centres as another level of protection against viral, bacterial and fugal outbreaks and more information can be found at www.outbreakprevention.com.au.