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J Occup Environ Hyg ; 19(9): 524-537, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931709


The emergence of COVID-19 and its corresponding public health burden has prompted industries to rapidly implement traditional and novel control strategies to mitigate the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, generating a surge of interest and application of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) sources as disinfection systems. With this increased attention the need to evaluate the efficacy and safety of these types of devices is paramount. A field study of the early implementation of UVGI devices was conducted at the Space Needle located in Seattle, Washington. Six devices were evaluated, including four low-pressure (LP) mercury-vapor lamp devices for air and surface sanitation not designed for human exposure and two krypton chloride (KrCl*) excimer lamp devices to be operated on and around humans. Emission spectra and ultraviolet (UV) irradiance at different locations from the UV devices were measured and germicidal effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 was estimated. The human safety of KrCl* excimer devices was also evaluated based on measured irradiance and estimated exposure durations. Our results show all LP devices emitted UV radiation primarily at 254 nm as expected. Both KrCl* excimers emitted far UVC irradiation at 222 nm as advertised but also emitted at longer, more hazardous wavelengths (228 to 262 nm). All LP devices emitted strong UVC irradiance, which was estimated to achieve three log reduction of SARS-CoV-2 within 10 sec of exposure at reasonable working distances. KrCl* excimers, however, emitted much lower irradiance than needed for effective disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 (>90% inactivation) within the typical exposure times. UV fluence from KrCl* excimer devices for employees was below the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) under the reported device usage and work shifts. However, photosensitive individuals, human susceptibility, or exposure to multiple UV sources throughout a worker's day, were not accounted for in this study. Caution should be used when determining the acceptability of UV exposure to workers in this occupational setting and future work should focus on UVGI sources in public settings.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Humans , Public Health , Ultraviolet Rays
J Water Health ; 20(2): iii-vi, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731646

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Water
Food Environ Virol ; 2022 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1681984


Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 may serve as a useful source of data for public health departments as the virus is shed in the stool of infected individuals. However, for wastewater data to be actionable, wastewater must be collected, concentrated, and analyzed in a timely manner. This manuscript presents modifications on a skimmed milk concentration protocol to reduce processing time, increase the number of samples that can be processed at once, and enable use in resource-limited settings. Wastewater seeded with Human coronavirus OC43 (OC43) was concentrated using a skimmed milk flocculation protocol, and then pellets were directly extracted with the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini kit. This protocol has a higher average effective volume assayed (6.35 mL) than skimmed milk concentration methods, with and without Vertrel XF™, which involve resuspension of the pellets in PBS extraction prior to nucleic acid extraction (1.28 mL, 1.44 mL, respectively). OC43 was selected as a recovery control organism because both it and SARS-CoV-2 are enveloped respiratory viruses that primarily infect humans resulting in respiratory symptoms. The OC43 percent recovery for the direct extraction protocol (3.4%) is comparable to that of skimmed milk concentration with and without Vertrel XF™ extraction (4.0%, 2.6%, respectively). When comparing SARS-CoV-2 detection using McNemar's chi-square test, the pellet extraction method is not statistically different from skimmed milk concentration, with and without Vertrel XF™ extraction. This suggests that the method performs equally as well as existing methods. Added benefits include reduced time spent per sample and the ability to process more samples at a single time. Direct extraction of skimmed milk pellets is a viable method for quick turnaround of wastewater data for public health interventions.

Sci Total Environ ; 769: 144852, 2021 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1030922


Environmental surveillance as a part of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) of SARS-CoV-2 can provide an early, cost-effective, unbiased community-level indicator of circulating COVID-19 in a population. The objective of this study was to determine how widely SARS-CoV-2 detection in wastewater is being investigated and what methods are used. A survey was developed and distributed, with results showing that methods were rapidly applied to conduct SARS-CoV-2 WBE, primarily to test wastewater influent from large urban wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, most methods utilized small wastewater volumes and the primary concentration methods used were polyethylene glycol precipitation, membrane filtration and centrifugal ultrafiltration followed by nucleic acid extraction and assay for primarily nucleocapsid gene targets (N1, N2, and/or N3). Since this survey was performed, many laboratories have continued to optimize and implement a variety of methods for SARS-CoV-2 WBE. Method comparison studies completed since this survey was conducted will assist in developing WBE as a supplemental tool to support public health and policy decision making responses.

COVID-19 , Waste Water , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring