What is a Coronavirus?

Our approcah to infection control

What classes a virus as a coronavirus? Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are RNA viruses that are surrounded by an outer coating comprised of a lipid bilayer (water-insoluble fatty coating). Enveloped viruses spread through a “budding o” process during which a new virus becomes wrapped in an outer coating. However, if this layer is dissolved, these viruses are relatively easy to kill- making them more susceptible to disinfectants than non-enveloped viruses. The Novel Coronavirus therefore falls into a category of viruses that are most susceptible to disinfectants.

In the UK our approach to Infection “Prevention” is fairly limited, we tend to deal with outbreaks as they arise, after much disruption and cost, instead of having robust preventative measures in place. For some years now we have been promoting a “whole room” disinfection approach; what does that mean I hear you ask? Well, a traditional clean of a room will treat approximately 30% of surfaces in that room, not bad really, but the problem is the bacteria can be (and probably is) all over that room and any that is not eradicated will quickly grow back! So, a “whole room” approach is required, using a dry mist. This technology ensures a validated 99.9999% disinfection leaving little chance of the room not being properly disinfected.

It used to be that only hospitals and laboratories required a high-level disinfection process, this is no longer the case; everywhere that people congregate requires an appropriate level of protection against viruses, bacteria and spores. The sooner we accept that this level of treatment is not a luxury, but an essential element of the cleaning regime, the quicker we will be able to feel comfortable in public or work spaces such as offices, shops, hotels, bars, cinemas, libraries, public transport, etc..