Coronavirus Outbreak – What Do We Know So Far?

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Much discussion has been circulating in the news recently about the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in several countries around the world. Coronaviruses are a large family of enveloped viruses, responsible for a range of infections from common colds to the SARS and MERS epidemics of the past two decades.

 

A new strain of coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. It was first reported late last year, and the first cases were linked to a seafood market in Wuhan. It has been causing cold/flu-like symptoms, fever and pneumonia. It appears that person-to-person spread of the virus is occurring. and public health agencies around the world are implementing strategies in the event that the virus continues to spread.

 

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, which are among the most susceptible category of pathogen to disinfectants. Both the EPA and Health Canada provide guidance on determining the efficacy of disinfectants against viruses:

 

  • Health Canada has a Broad-Spectrum Virucide Rule allowance, which means that a disinfectant with a claim against certain approved non-enveloped viruses can be expected to kill most other viruses as well.  Due to this claim, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® was named the chemical surface disinfectant of choice during the SARS outbreak of 2003 to be used across Canada for disinfection within all healthcare facilities. Users should ensure that their disinfectant product has this claim.
  • The EPA has the Emerging Viral Pathogen Rule. This states that if a broad-spectrum or hospital disinfectant carries claims against two small non-enveloped viruses, each from a different family, it is expected to kill other viruses as well. Users should ensure that their disinfectant product has this ability should there be a need to a change to your disinfection protocol. All EPA-registered Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP) disinfectants meet this requirement.

 

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