Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Virus Transmission – Sharing is Caring


Image from MemeGenerator
This year seems to be particularly bad for colds and other viruses.  We’ve had a couple of different viruses running through our office and I should have stocked up on “Kleenex” based on the amount my son has gone through since heading back to school in September!  I have a virus.  It’s just a cold.  I feel crappy, but I’ll push through it because isn’t that what good moms, wives and employees do?  If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you may recall that I also believe if I can pass my cold on to one other  person I instantly start feeling better.   Anyone want a hug?

The million dollar question is, how did I get it? Who knows, but after reading a recent study looking at fomite-mediated transmission of viruses I’ve come to the conclusion they can come from anywhere and everywhere.  The study looked directly at fomite transmission (direct shedding onto a fomite) and hand-fomite transmission (shedding onto a hand that then touches a fomite) of influenza, rhinovirus and norovirus.  The researchers concluded that both rhinovirus and norovirus direct fomite transmission is definitely a route of transmission whereas influenza did not show the same capability.  The hand-fomite route was shown to be more relevant for rhinovirus and influenza transmission. For norovirus, ability to transmit via the hand-fomite route versus the direct fomite route was dependent upon the amount of norovirus initially shed onto the hands.

Understanding the impact of the route of transmission helps to determine the most effect intervention to implement.  For influenza, increasing the frequency of environmental surface disinfection will help to prevent outbreaks. This is due to the fact that influenza demonstrated the lowest fomite reproductive number.   Conversely, rhinovirus and norovirus are so infectious that a single environmental intervention is unlikely to stop their spread via fomites. 

I guess if I want to start feeling better I had best start spreading my germs directly to fomites and of course, stop washing my hands to make sure they have the best chance possible to transmit to every surface I touch because “sharing is caring”!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, November 2, 2018

Shower or Bath which is your preference?


I always thought that cleanliness was next to godliness.  When it comes to bathing however, I firmly believe there are two camps.  Those who like to lounge in a tub pretending to relax by reading a book while the bubbles dissipate, the water turns cold and you lay in your own filth, and then there’s those who do not find standing onerous and love the feeling of hot water spraying over their body.  I am firmly in the shower camp.  I try to enjoy a good bath, but truth be known, after 5 minutes I’m bored or I’ve gotten so hot that I’m sweating and need to take a shower to cool down.  The same can be said for me in hot tubs….

After reading a recently published study done by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, I may have to rethink how I bathe and contemplate bathing as opposed to showering.  Well, at least in some parts of the USA.   Researchers found that the prevalence of pathogenic mycobacteria in showerheads correlated to regions where nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infections are most common.  It’s not unknown that bacteria thrive in showerheads and throughout household water distribution systems.  Generally, we have nothing to worry about, however upon occasion the type of bacteria found can lead to infections.  The researchers surveyed showerheads in households across the USA and found that the bacterial population differed by region and the type of water.  Surprisingly, households supplied with chlorinated treated water had higher levels of some types of mycobacteria.

Truth be known, we shouldn’t be surprised that showerhead biofilm can lead to infections. At least, I would hope not.  Most deaths from Legionnaires' disease are tied to hospital and nursing home showers according to a 2015 report by the CDC.

If you’re concerned about your shower water quality, the five regions identified in the study are Hawaii, Florida, The upper Midwest, Southern California and The Mid-Atlantic States.   Lucky me, I just spent 3 nights in Maryland in a hotel where, let’s just say, it was in a serious need of a facelift and based on the inconsistent shower spray, they do not have a cleaning and disinfection protocol to clean their shower heads.  I guess I’ll just wait and see if I get sick!

Bugging Off!

Nicole