In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, here is some information from our global supply partner and infection control specialist, Ecolab. It gives information on the virus symptoms and how it is transmitted and controlled.
What is Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are RNA enveloped viruses than can infect animals and humans. So far, there are six known human coronaviruses. Four of these coronaviruses are less pathogenic, generally causing only minor respiratory symptoms like the common cold. Two other coronaviruses—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) —can cause serious respiratory diseases.
A new strain of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has emerged, is causing illnesses globally and is different from other coronaviruses.
To date, the virus has infected hundreds of people, with more than a dozen reported deaths. As surveillance proceeds, there may be more cases identified. Some, but not all, of the cases are linked to a live animal market in Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China. Public Health authorities are actively investigating this outbreak.
Because of this, public health recommendations focus on standard infection control practices to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are like other upper-respiratory infections, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. They range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure.
HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?
Since coronaviruses can be extremely contagious and spread easily from person to person, medical diagnosis is required.
Transmission routes for 2019-nCoV, include:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close, personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with virus particles, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
HOW IS IT CONTROLLED?
There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection.
Infection risk can be reduced by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often and correctly. Washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid transmission of emerging pathogens.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Do not touch animals or animal feces and do not eat wild animals
- Avoid farmers markets, live poultry markets or farms
- If you have fever or other symptoms after traveling home, you should wear a mask and immediately call a doctor. Be sure to let the doctor know where you were traveling.
Enveloped viruses are the least resistant to inactivation by disinfection. The structure of these viruses includes a lipid envelope, which is easily compromised by most disinfectants. Once the lipid envelope is damaged, the integrity of the virus is compromised, thereby neutralizing its infectivity.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Thank you to Ecolab for this information. If you are concerned about the spread of an outbreak, see our range of infection control products.