Never before in any time during history has anyone been more focused on infection control. If the past eighteen months have taught us anything, it’s the importance of handwashing, social distancing, and mask-wearing in restricting the spread of viruses. As the nationwide lockdown continues to ease in the UK, everyone is looking forward to a return to normality and desperately hoping that we are never confined to our homes for so long again.
Thanks to the combination of proven technology and medical research, our chances of embracing normality are currently looking good, with a new method for infection control gradually emerging from the dark. A recent study in The Lancet found that machines which emit ultraviolet (UV) light can cut transmission of four major super bugs by a cumulative 30 percent. This is a significant finding which supports the use of UV devices in indoor settings as hospitals, offices and even homes, as part of an overall infection control strategy.
What did the research examine?
The finding is specific to patients who stay overnight in a room where someone with a known positive culture or infection of a drug-resistant organism had previously been treated. The study focused on the top four most common bugs found in hospitals: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter. Typically, patients that contract these infections have prolonged hospital stays, and often require intensive care. Some of the aerosols spread through the air as a result of these viruses can remain active in the environment for so long that even after someone has left the room, it has been cleaned and another person has entered, it can remain present and prone to reactivation.
What does this mean in relation to Coronavirus?
The study shows the powerful role that UV technology plays in reducing aerosol spread of four viruses and gives hope that it can be equally as effective in reducing aerosol spread of Coronavirus within indoor environments and critically, within workplaces and healthcare settings.
Is UV technology new to infection control?
No. In fact, UV technology has been used for years within environmental services, but the medical and healthcare sectors have previously been slow to adopt it. One of the reasons is a lack of awareness about how effective the technology can be for infection control. This study should help start to overcome this. Compared to other solutions UV actually kills pathogens and does not capture and collect them. It is also unaffected by the geomic variations as currently being experienced with SARS-COV-2.
What does it mean for other indoor settings?
At a time when we are all becoming conscious of infection control; at home, in the supermarket, at work, UV technology offers a second line of defence. Products which emit UV technology are increasingly being designed to integrate with all interior spaces, be simple and easy to use, and have high efficacy in controlling and reducing airborne virus transmission. The products and the technology are already developed and proven, the next step is increasing adoption of UV and installing solutions in all indoor settings.
Does UV technology kill Coronavirus aerosols?
There is substantial evidence to indicate that SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, can be passed from person to person in tiny droplets called aerosols, which travel through the air and accumulate over time. Pathogen Solutions has developed its own UV solution, Medixair, which combats this by providing 24-hour airborne infection control. The 110-watt unit employs high intensity ultraviolet light to decontaminate the air within indoor environments.
The portable machine works by drawing air into the unit and exposing it to UV light which is a proven method for killing bugs. The clean air is then recirculated back out of the unit. When deployed within medical wards or other indoor settings, the device can provide an additional and effective level of support against infection.
How do I find out more about Medixair?