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.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Coronavirus Clean Up


According to the WHO, 82,539 cases and 2,812 deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded.  While around the world, these cases have been linked back to the original source of Wuhan, China, this week, the CDC confirmed the first U.S. COVID-19 case of unknown origin.  The patient appears to have contracted the virus without visiting a foreign country recently or coming into contact with an infected patient meaning this is an instance of community spread of COVID-19 in the United States.  That said, it is possible that the patient was exposed to a returned traveler who was infected without realizing it.
The outbreak is not going to stop any time soon and with the ever-increasing number of cases around the world, we need to be taking every measure possible to limit the spread.  Certainly, hand hygiene and quarantining of suspected and confirmed cases is a way to help slow the spread especially within the community, but focusing cleaning and disinfection are key aspects that cannot be forgotten – just ask those responsible for the Diamond Princess.             
Princess Cruises has put out a global search for a service provider with advanced, scientifically proven cleaning and disinfection capabilities to perform work onboard the Diamond Princess. They are looking to hire a vendor that has experience in significant cleaning and disinfection projects and experience in the use of the disinfectant agent manufactured by Virox®, which is well-known to be an effective disinfectant.  According to the RFP, companies who wish to submit a proposal should be prepared to comply with detailed standards set forth by experts in health protocols and administration such as the Japanese Ministry of Health, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, in addition to the operational standards established by Princess Cruises.
This is not the first time that Virox’s patented Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) has been used against Coronavirus.  In 2003, during the SARS outbreak, AHP® became the recommended disinfectant of choice, resulting in the distribution of a Training Bulletin disseminated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care mandating the use of AHP® by all EMAs and Paramedics.  While the original Training Bulletin referenced the use of AHP® for emergency vehicles, AHP® became the only disinfectant used by healthcare providers across Canada.
Coronaviruses are known to be able to persist on environmental surfaces for up to nine days.  In a recently published study, AHP® was included among the disinfectants that have been shown to have proven efficacy against various strains of Coronavirus.  When it comes to managing the transmission of Coronavirus, thoroughly cleaning environmental surfaces with a safe and effective disinfectant that carries a short contact time, like AHP®, will support in ensuring healthcare facilities, offices, schools, cruise ships and transportation vehicles (planes, trains and automobiles) have a cleaning and disinfection program that will support their infection prevention needs.
Infection prevention requires a daily focus.  In this time of heightened concerned and continued expansion of COVID-19, I hope you’ll add cleaning and disinfection to your daily routine!
Bugging Off!
Nicole

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sharing towels is not caring


Have you ever looked at a towel and thought “OMG! I’m going to get sick from using it!”?  If you’re old enough to remember the cotton roller towels in public washrooms you’ve likely had that reaction.  Have you ever looked at a towel of a family member and wondered if it would make you sick?

I would hazard a guess that most people would think about the potential to pick up germs from high touch surfaces such as refrigerator door handles and the TV remote and most would not consider sharing toothbrushes, but towels?  According to a recent study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, sharing personal hygiene items including towels could increase the risk for colonization of antibiotic resistant organisms like MRSA. 

Over a course of a year, researchers made several visits to the homes of 150 children treated for MRSA infections. A total of 692 family members, as well as 154 cats and dogs, took part in the study.  The researchers swabbed sinks, refrigerator door handles, bathroom countertops, bath towels, bedsheets, light switches, telephones, TVs, video game controllers and computer keyboards and mice. The humans had their nostrils, armpits and groins swabbed, while the animals their noses and backs as this is where they are most often petted.  By the end of the study, 3,819 samples were collected and analyzed.

For the children, the bedsheets of the child with the initial infection were found to be most often contaminated with MRSA. The refrigerator door handle was the most contaminated kitchen site; the sink was the most contaminated place in the bathroom and as most would expect, the TV remote was the dirtiest electronic device.  From a transmission perspective, the dirtier the house was, if the home was rented and the larger the family size also contributed to the likelihood of additional members of the family becoming infected with MRSA.  Surprisingly to the researchers, pets were more likely to catch MRSA from people than visa versa.

Researchers and healthcare providers agree that hand hygiene is the greatest method to stop the spread of disease, however, if a loved one comes home with an infection like MRSA, sharing of personal hygiene items should be avoided as once MRSA is in the home as this study shows it can be easily spread around, picked up by other family members and difficult to get rid of.

The next time you’re at a family members or friends house and use the washroom, will you look at the hand towel in the bathroom in a different light?  If it’s wet, will you be wondering how many people have used it before you and what may be on it?  I know I will!

Bugging Off!
Nicole

Friday, February 14, 2020

Spread Love, Not Germs


The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. Saint Valentine's Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is believed to have originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus.  Today, it’s a special commemoration of our love for others. We celebrate it in many ways with gifts, date nights or maybe a night in which you do not have to cook or do the dishes. No one is thinking about how to prevent germs from spreading from person to person. 

Unfortunately, Valentine's Day falls in the heart of cold and flu season.  For many star-crossed lovers who plan to hold hands and kiss their sweetheart, there are two ways this could go: good or bad.  It can be difficult to tell if your sweetheart is sick with the flu, a cold or if you’re a teenager, mono (aka the kissing disease).   If you didn’t already know, you start shedding viruses before you experience the full effect of any illness.

Many of the viruses can be spread through respiratory secretions from talking and laughing, touching surfaces and of course, through saliva.  Since kissing is a big way to show affection, you may be getting more than just a little romance.  But all is not lost, you can protect yourself from the cold and flu:
  • Wash your hands often (especially after holding hands and definitely before eating)
  • Avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick (and maybe even when you’re not sure)
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • Get your flu vaccine
In the words of Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”   I’m not sure anyone would think a cold or flu virus is beautiful, but they most definitely cannot be seen!   If the strategies given above do not work and you happen to get sick, I find when I have a cold, if I can share it with one person I feel immediately better!   My parents always taught me that sharing is caring, so my heart is in the right place, isn’t it?

Wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Flu and You!


While the world is mesmerized with the burgeoning 2019 n-CoV outbreak and the novelty of a new virus infecting tens of thousands of people, in a single state of the US, tens of thousands of children are being impacted by influenza.  In Tennessee, more than a dozen school districts were closed on Monday due to widespread illness.  While the outbreak in China has topped 24,000 confirmed ill patients, almost 72,000 children stayed at home to allow the school boards time to clean and disinfect the schools to try and stop the spread of illness.

According to the CDC, estimates for this flu season indicate that between 19 and 26 million cases of influenza have occurred across the country, and at least 10,000 people have died as a result.  In one Tennessee county, 10% of the entire student and teacher population had been off sick with the flu and other illnesses.  The cost of illness is nothing to sneeze at.  Schools are reimbursed based on bums in the seats.  The numbers can vary by district, but on average, $25 - $30 per student per day is provided.  If we assume 10% of the 12 affected counties have been impacted, that is $216,000 in lost funding for just one day!  

The flu season is not expected to wain until at least the end of February.  In Tennessee, 10 children have died from the flu so far this season with more than more than 41,000 cases of the flu reported across the state.   People with flu can spread it by coughing, sneezing or TALKING to others up to about six feet away!  The droplets "excreted" by someone carrying the flu can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  People can also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

The good news is that keep yourself and your family members healthy is relatively easy.  The first step is getting vaccinated.  The second step is to wash your hands frequency and especially before you eat and after you blow your nose or cough into your hands.  Lastly, keep your area clean using disinfectants.  Influenza is an enveloped virus, meaning while it is highly infectious, it is actually very easy to kill with a disinfectant.  Wiping down high-touch surfaces frequently is an easy way to stop the spread of influenza.  Whether your wiping down areas in your house or your office at work, having disinfectant wipes handy is a simple and easy way to keep healthy!

Bugging Off!

Nicole