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!