Person sneezing with tissue in its hands

Reducing the spread of
infections on a global level

30.01.2020

We have been following the recent development regarding the outbreak of SARS CoV-2. Authorities worldwide established extensive measures to prevent a further spread. It is important to take the outbreak and its potential consequences seriously. But it’s just as important to keep calm and look at the scientific facts at hand.

The virus (SARS CoV-2) belongs to the Coronaviruses within the family Coronaviridae. These enveloped viruses cause gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, such as bronchitis or colds, but also severe acute respiratory syndrome. The latter includes representatives like SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus). Transmission mainly occurs via droplets or contact infection. The incubation period of SARS CoV-2 is up to 14 days and the virus can be potentially transmitted within that period even before symptoms appear.

The important thing to know is that the virus (SARS CoV-2) can be inactivated with alcohol-based disinfectants (virucidal activity against enveloped viruses required) – which is the gold standard in our industry and commonly used in professional hand and surface disinfection.

Medical products, such as masks, gloves, gowns, isolation gowns, eye protection and caps are also intended to prevent infection or disease as they provide a barrier between the user and the potentially pathogenic environment and may contribute to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

The WHO and CDC name these most effective preemptive measures to protect oneself and others:

  • Frequently clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • When you are sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your flexed elbow, throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Be aware not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold- or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces frequently.
  • If you have a cough, fever or difficulties with breathing, seek medical care early.
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.

A responsibility for all of us

“SARS CoV-2 is not the only infectious risk out there. The influenza virus and other pathogens are potential risks as well – especially for people with an impaired immune system, the elderly or young children. These pathogens don’t always get the same attention by global authorities and media. So, in order to stop the spread of infections, everyone needs to assume a certain degree of responsibility. It’s in our hands – literally,” Dr. Sebastian Blockus (Applied Science, BODE SCIENCE CENTER) points out.

For more information and updates in the COVID-19 development please see the following World Health Organization and CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.