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 Special Report

Cleaning to prevent the spread ofEbola

or body fluids, it should be removed and discarded by themethods used for bio-haz- ardousmaterial. • Throw used gloves away according to rec- ommended infection control precautions when cleaning is done or if they become soiled or damaged during cleaning. • Clean hands with soap and water (or wa- terless alcohol-based hand sanitiser when soap is not available) immediately after gloves are removed. All viruses require biomatter on which to

survive. Therefore, to reduce the likelihood that a virus would survive on a surface, cleaning proceduresmust remove asmuch biomatter at possible. In addition to using the proper cleaner/disinfectant, cleaning must be done frequently enough to reduce the risk of a virus remaining on the surface too long, increasing the risk of someone coming into contact with it. ISSA, the leading trade association for the

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe illness with a case fatality rate of 90%. Ebola outbreaks can devastate families and communities, but the infection can be con- trolled through the effective use of recom- mended protectivemeasures in clinics, hospitals, community gatherings and at home. In fact, while some facility decision makersmay view cleaning as an expense incurred to increase a building’s appear- ance, it is at times of potential outbreak when they can see the true value of clean- ing as an investment in public health pro- tection. It is one of the world’smost virulent dis-

eases and is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids such as saliva or urine, and tissues of infected people and animals. The incubation period, fromexpo- sure to when signs or symptoms appear, ranges fromtwo to 21 days (most com- monly 8-10 days). TheWorld Health Organisation (WHO)

provides detailed information on its website - - where you can find advice regarding the importance of hand hy- giene, the wearing of protective equipment, and effective disposal of soiled and infected items and ‘sharps’. TheWHO recommends basic hand hygiene steps for individuals whomight come into contact with popula- tions at a higher risk of contracting Ebola. This includes using an alcohol-based hand rub and/or soap and running water plus good hand drying systems and, in particu- lar, single-use towels. It is also vital to en- sure the correct use of surface cleaning and sanitising chemicals.

Cleaning to reduce risk

Cleaning personnel in high-risk areas such as airports or healthcare facilities should consider any bodily fluids as infectious and dispose of themaccording to local health- care requirements for handling bio-haz-

24 l C&M l NOVEMBER 2014 l

TheWorld Health Organisation (WHO) provides detailed information on its website - -where you can find advice regarding the importance of hand hygiene, thewearing of protective equipment, and effective disposal of soiled and infected items and ‘sharps’.

ardousmaterials (WHO disposal recom- mendations). Additional steps to consider if cleaning in a potentially infected area in- clude: •Wear impermeable disposable gloves while cleaning the passenger cabin and lavatories. •Wipe down lavatory surfaces and fre- quently touched surfaces in high-traffic areas, such as hand rails, door knobs, and elevator buttons with a registered cleaner/disinfectant that has been approved for use on the surfaces being cleaned. • Special cleaning of upholstery or carpets is not indicated unless they are obviously soiled with blood or body fluids. • Special vacuuming equipment or proce- dures are not necessary. • Do not use compressed air, whichmight spread infectiousmaterial through the air. • If a surface is obviously soiled with blood

cleaning industry worldwide, has identified thatmany facilities do not clean as fre- quently as needed to adequately reduce public health risk, although there are no in- dustry standards, due to the high degree of variation fromone facility to another. Each facility needs to individually determine its cleaning frequencies based on factors such as number of occupants or amount of traf- fic, surfaces, age of the building, geographic factors, weather factors, availability of cleaning personnel, and budget constraints.

Who can help?

ISSAmember companies, whether cleaning companies,manufacturers or distributors, can help in offering sound advice to facility executives about proper cleaning frequen- cies, use of chemicals, and effective per- sonal hygiene systems to reduce the risk of infection asmuch as possible. ISSAmem- bers in your region can be found at

Call for hospitalwaste ‘rethink’ inwake of Ebola

PyroPure Ltd is calling for the UK to treat the development of onsitemedical waste disposal technology as a priority following the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa, which is now the worst outbreak of the disease since 1976. Peter Selkirk, executive chairman of PyroPure, the Hampshire firmthat has developed the technology to destroy

hazardous waste on site, claims that the UK is ‘woefully underprepared when it comes to hazardous waste disposal in high-risk environments’ and ‘too reliant on outdated procedures that leave those responsible for waste collection vulnerable and open to infection’. Whilst Ebola represents a small risk to the UK, PyroPure is urging the healthcare sector and industries responsi-

ble formanaging high-risk waste to re-evaluate the way in which they dispose of it in order to significantly boost in- fection control and reduce the chances of contamination. Peter Selkirk said: “Whilst a widespread UK outbreak of Ebola remains unlikely, the devastation it has caused in

West Africa should provide a wake up call to the UK. It is too risky to continue the outdated practices of storage of in- fected hospital waste and its transportation over the highways to incinerators. There are a number of ‘touch points’ through the cradle to grave waste disposal chain wheremanual handling poses a risk.” A report by theNational Institute for Health and Care Excellence confirms that thousands of people continue to die

unnecessarily fromhospital-acquired infections and that healthcare associated infections are estimated to cost the NHS approximately £1 billion a year. “The UKmust adopt a smarter approach to the way in which itmanages clinical waste, one that not only reduces

risks and incidents of infection but also processes that leave nothing to chance,” continued Selkirk. “Pyropure is seeking to establish new solutions to age old problems - however we need to expedite this process in order to en- sure that the UK is as well-equipped as it can be to fight infections that could pose a serious risk to the population.”

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