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1.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 33, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081336

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has challenged the availability of traditional surface disinfectants. It has also stimulated the production of ultraviolet-disinfection robots by companies and institutions. These robots are increasingly advocated as a simple solution for the immediate disinfection of rooms and spaces of all surfaces in one process and as such they seem attractive to hospital management, also because of automation and apparent cost savings by reducing cleaning staff. Yet, there true potential in the hospital setting needs to be carefully evaluated. Presently, disinfection robots do not replace routine (manual) cleaning but may complement it. Further design adjustments of hospitals and devices are needed to overcome the issue of shadowing and free the movement of robots in the hospital environment. They might in the future provide validated, reproducible and documented disinfection processes. Further technical developments and clinical trials in a variety of hospitals are warranted to overcome the current limitations and to find ways to integrate this novel technology in to the hospitals of to-day and the future.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Disinfection/instrumentation , Disinfection/methods , Hospitals , Robotics/methods , Ultraviolet Rays , /virology , Disinfectants , Humans , Pandemics , /radiation effects
2.
Cornea ; 40(1): 121-122, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-998522

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To report the germicidal range ultraviolet (UV) irradiation-induced phototoxicity because of unprotected exposure to the UV lamps for presumed household disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 in a domestic setting. METHODS: We report on a family of 3 adults who experienced photophobia, intense eye pain, epiphora, blurred vision, and a burning sensation over the face and neck area after a short period of unprotected exposure to the UV germicidal lamps. RESULTS: An initial examination revealed erythema and tenderness over the face and neck area, reduced visual acuity of 6/12, and conjunctival injections bilaterally in all 3 patients. Further assessment at the ophthalmology department 3 days later revealed gradual improvement of visual acuity to 6/6 bilaterally. Slit-lamp examinations revealed few punctate epithelial erosions. Fundal examinations were normal without evidence of solar retinopathy. The patients were diagnosed with germicidal range UV irradiation-induced photokeratitis and epidermal phototoxicity. Lubricants and emollients were prescribed for symptom relief, and the patients were warned against using a UV germicidal lamp for disinfection purposes without appropriate protection. CONCLUSIONS: Although SARS-CoV-2 is structurally akin to SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, and previous studies demonstrated high levels of inactivation of beta-coronavirus with germicidal-range UV, evidence for its efficacy to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 is lacking. This case report serves to emphasize the potential consequences of phototoxicity from the improper use of UV germicidal lamps for household disinfection and to highlight the fact that UV germicidal lamps currently have no established role in household disinfection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Dermatitis, Phototoxic/etiology , Disinfection/instrumentation , Photophobia/etiology , Radiation Injuries/etiology , Ultraviolet Rays/adverse effects , Adolescent , Dermatitis, Phototoxic/diagnosis , Eye Pain/diagnosis , Eye Pain/etiology , Female , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Photophobia/diagnosis , Radiation Injuries/diagnosis , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects
3.
mBio ; 11(3)2020 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-616491

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caused a severe, international shortage of N95 respirators, which are essential to protect health care providers from infection. Given the contemporary limitations of the supply chain, it is imperative to identify effective means of decontaminating, reusing, and thereby conserving N95 respirator stockpiles. To be effective, decontamination must result in sterilization of the N95 respirator without impairment of respirator filtration or user fit. Although numerous methods of N95 decontamination exist, none are universally accessible. In this work, we describe a microwave-generated steam decontamination protocol for N95 respirators for use in health care systems of all sizes, geographies, and means. Using widely available glass containers, mesh from commercial produce bags, a rubber band, and a 1,100-W commercially available microwave, we constructed an effective, standardized, and reproducible means of decontaminating N95 respirators. Employing this methodology against MS2 phage, a highly conservative surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 contamination, we report an average 6-log10 plaque-forming unit (PFU) (99.9999%) and a minimum 5-log10 PFU (99.999%) reduction after a single 3-min microwave treatment. Notably, quantified respirator fit and function were preserved, even after 20 sequential cycles of microwave steam decontamination. This method provides a valuable means of effective decontamination and reuse of N95 respirators by frontline providers facing urgent need.IMPORTANCE Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there is an increasing shortage of protective gear necessary to keep health care providers safe from infection. As of 9 April 2020, the CDC reported 9,282 cumulative cases of COVID-19 among U.S. health care workers (CDC COVID-19 Response Team, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 69:477-481, 2020, https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6915e6). N95 respirators are recommended by the CDC as the ideal method of protection from COVID-19. Although N95 respirators are traditionally single use, the shortages have necessitated the need for reuse. Effective methods of N95 decontamination that do not affect the fit or filtration ability of N95 respirators are essential. Numerous methods of N95 decontamination exist; however, none are universally accessible. In this study, we describe an effective, standardized, and reproducible means of decontaminating N95 respirators using widely available materials. The N95 decontamination method described in this work will provide a valuable resource for hospitals, health care centers, and outpatient practices that are experiencing increasing shortages of N95 respirators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Decontamination/instrumentation , Decontamination/methods , Masks , Steam , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Decontamination/standards , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disinfection/instrumentation , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Reuse/standards , Filtration , Humans , Microwaves , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Reproducibility of Results , Sterilization , United States
4.
Sensors (Basel) ; 20(12)2020 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610868

ABSTRACT

The role of mobile robots for cleaning and sanitation purposes is increasing worldwide. Disinfection and hygiene are two integral parts of any safe indoor environment, and these factors become more critical in COVID-19-like pandemic situations. Door handles are highly sensitive contact points that are prone to be contamination. Automation of the door-handle cleaning task is not only important for ensuring safety, but also to improve efficiency. This work proposes an AI-enabled framework for automating cleaning tasks through a Human Support Robot (HSR). The overall cleaning process involves mobile base motion, door-handle detection, and control of the HSR manipulator for the completion of the cleaning tasks. The detection part exploits a deep-learning technique to classify the image space, and provides a set of coordinates for the robot. The cooperative control between the spraying and wiping is developed in the Robotic Operating System. The control module uses the information obtained from the detection module to generate a task/operational space for the robot, along with evaluating the desired position to actuate the manipulators. The complete strategy is validated through numerical simulations, and experiments on a Toyota HSR platform.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disinfection/instrumentation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Robotics/instrumentation , Algorithms , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Deep Learning , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Design , Humans , Maintenance , Motion , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Robotics/methods , Robotics/statistics & numerical data
5.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(2): 581-582, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-540347

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to gain momentum around the world, several measures are being put in place to control its spread. One such effort includes the installation of walkthrough sanitization gates to disinfect passersby and prevent cross infection. However, there is lack of clinical evidence on the effectiveness of these walkthrough gates to contain COVID-19. Moreover, there are potential public health concerns associated with these walkthrough gates. Spraying individuals with disinfectant chemicals is strongly discouraged by various health authorities around the globe because of their propensity for eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm following inhalation, and gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting. This article underscores that the risks associated with the use of these walkthrough gates overweigh any potential benefits. Health authorities must discourage their use and should focus efforts on other preventive measures such as social distancing, wearing masks, and hand hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the general public.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disinfectants/administration & dosage , Disinfection/instrumentation , Disinfection/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , Disinfectants/adverse effects , Humans , Public Health
6.
Am J Infect Control ; 48(11): 1370-1374, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-620103

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mobile phones are known to carry pathogenic bacteria and viruses on their surfaces, posing a risk to healthcare providers (HCPs) and hospital infection prevention efforts. We utilize an Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) device to provide an effective method for mobile phone disinfection and survey HCPs about infection risk. METHODS: Environmental swabs were used to culture HCPs' personal mobile phone surfaces. Four cultures were obtained per phone: before and after the UV-C device's 30-second disinfecting cycle, at the beginning and end of a 12-hour shift. Surveys were administered to participants pre- and poststudy. RESULTS: Total bacterial colony forming units were reduced by 90.5% (P = .006) after one UV-C disinfection cycle, and by 99.9% (P = .004) after 2 cycles. Total pathogenic bacterial colony forming units were decreased by 98.2% (P = .038) after one and >99.99% (P = .037) after 2 disinfection cycles. All survey respondents were willing to use the UV-C device daily to weekly, finding it convenient and beneficial. DISCUSSION: This novel UV-C disinfecting device is effective in reducing pathogenic bacteria on mobile phones. HCPs would frequently use a phone disinfecting device to reduce infection risk. CONCLUSIONS: In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a standardized approach to phone disinfection may be valuable in preventing healthcare-associated infections.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/radiation effects , Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , Cell Phone , Disinfection/instrumentation , Ultraviolet Rays , Bacteria/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Colony Count, Microbial , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Infection/microbiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Virulence
7.
Environ Int ; 142: 105832, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381748

ABSTRACT

During the rapid rise in COVID-19 illnesses and deaths globally, and notwithstanding recommended precautions, questions are voiced about routes of transmission for this pandemic disease. Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. While uncertainties remain regarding the relative contributions of the different transmission pathways, we argue that existing evidence is sufficiently strong to warrant engineering controls targeting airborne transmission as part of an overall strategy to limit infection risk indoors. Appropriate building engineering controls include sufficient and effective ventilation, possibly enhanced by particle filtration and air disinfection, avoiding air recirculation and avoiding overcrowding. Often, such measures can be easily implemented and without much cost, but if only they are recognised as significant in contributing to infection control goals. We believe that the use of engineering controls in public buildings, including hospitals, shops, offices, schools, kindergartens, libraries, restaurants, cruise ships, elevators, conference rooms or public transport, in parallel with effective application of other controls (including isolation and quarantine, social distancing and hand hygiene), would be an additional important measure globally to reduce the likelihood of transmission and thereby protect healthcare workers, patients and the general public.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aerosols , Betacoronavirus , Crowding , Disinfection/instrumentation , Filtration , Humans , Inhalation Exposure , Ventilation
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