Since Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of several flu-like cases in the city of Wuhan on December 31st, news of the Coronavirus has been inescapable, and its impact global. In a paper published by The Lancet, Scientists from the University of Hong Kong state that “Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable because of substantial exportation or pre-symptomatic cases” (Wu, Leung and Leung, 2020). This claim is being substantiated by statistics that show the virus has now spread across four continents and at a rate not seen since the SARS outbreak of 2003.
What is the 2019-nCoV Strain of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus (Corvid-19) is a large family of viruses that are found in animals and humans. Some infect people and cause the common cold, but others such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are considered more sever diseases. However, 2019-nCoV is a new strain of Coronavirus and had not been detected until the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
Although little is known about the transmission of the 2019-nCoV strain of Coronavirus, knowledge of similar infections leads experts to believe that it is passed from person-to-person as a result of close contact (approx. 6ft) and respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. Contaminated surfaces can also be responsible for infection spread. A study, published in The Journal of Hospital Infection shows that other Coronavirus – namely MERS and SARS - can survive on inanimate objects for a period of up to 9 days depending on the conditions, with the average lifespan being 4-5 days. Therefore, it is feasible to believe that 2019-nCoV can survive for similar periods on inanimate objects.
What Protective Measures Should I Take?
Tadros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, current Director General of the World Health Organization has suggested that a vaccine for 2019-nCoV could be 18 months away, and that “we have to do everything today using available weapons” to combat the virus’ spread (Givas, 2020). One of the “weapons” available to us as a society is the application of basic hygiene practices that will help protect against the risk of infection and slow the rate with which it spreads. Crucial to this is hand washing, on which WHO advises that you “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty” as this “eliminates the virus if it is on your hands”. If you are coughing and/or sneezing, hand hygiene becomes increasingly important as touching objects or other people could lead to contamination. It also recommends that hand washing is undertaken in the following instances:
- When caring for the sick or elderly
- Before, during and after you prepare food
- Before eating
- After using the toilet
- When hands are visibly dirty
- After handling animals or animal waste
How Can SOHO Help with Hand and Surface Hygiene?
At Soho Commercial, we stock a large number of products that will help you to protect yourself and others from the risk of infection, whether that be through hand or surface hygiene or protective wear, such as MAPA gloves. Below is a list of items, including links and brief description, that can help you to reduce the likelihood of infection.
A free-standing, all metal hand hygiene station with weighted base that does not require the drilling of walls and can be situated in any location where improved hand hygiene is needed most. Designed for use with Rubbermaid’s AutoFoam Dispensers.
A touch-free skin care system that dispenses the highest quality foam soap. Its industry leading battery life lasts up to 3 years or 120,000 washes. Features refill level and battery life indicator.
Rubbermaid’s Flex Skin Care System’s revolutionary design allows for the use of either foam or liquid treatments in the same dispenser. The Flex dispenser is available in two sizes, and is capable of the highest handwash yield of all the dispensers we offer, thus making it cost effective. All refills discharge fully so there is no waste soap or foam.
Soap that kills up to 99.99% of germs and is free from dye and fragrance to protect sensitive skin.
Rubbermaid's Alcohol Plus hand sanitiser contains 75% ethyl alcohol for maximum effectiveness. Capable of killing 99.99% of germs, it can be used to effectively combat MRSA, VRE, Candida, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and others. Compliant with EN 1500 and NSF E3, the AutoFoam Alcohol Plus Hand Sanitiser can be used as a disinfectant for employees within the food industry. It is also free from dyes and fragrances, and is enriched with shea butter to provide all round care for sensitive skin.
Ideal for us in environments where alcohol is not permitted, Rubbermaid’s Alcohol-Free Hand Rub helps to control the growth of microorganisms on the skin.
The Flex Manual Dispenser is a multi-purpose device that can hold refills from across Rubbermaid’s Flex range.
The easy-to-apply, quick drying alcohol-based formula reassures toilet users that the seat and handles are clean. Just apply with a cloth or toilet roll to eradicate dirt and germs.
The Rubbermaid Clean Seat & Handle Foam Dispenser provides toilet users with peace of mind and improved hygiene. Designed to be placed in toilet cubicles, the dispenser provides toilet users with a quick-drying foam solution with which they can clean toilets.
Like with the foam dispenser, the Clean Seat & Handle Spray Dispenser provides toilet users with a quick-drying liquid solution with which they can sanitise the toilet. This offers peace of mind to toilet users that the surfaces are hygienic.
Designed for use with the Clean Seat & Handle Foam Dispenser, the foam refill helps to reassure toilet users that toilets are always clean by providing them with disinfectant that they can apply themselves. The quick-drying formula can be applied using toilet roll, and rubbing the surfaces the user wishes to santise.
The Clean Seat & Handle Spray Refill is the liquid alternative to the Clean Seat & Handle Foam Refill and is designed for use with the spray dispenser. As with the foam solution, the quick-drying spray solution can be applied to surfaces using toilet roll, and provides toilet users with peace of mind that surfaces are clean.