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COVID-19 – The Basics

COVID-19 is an enveloped virus with a single positive-stranded RNA genome. Coronaviruses have an envelope composed of a lipid bilayer, proteins, and sugars with a protein capsid. At this point American Ultraviolet does not believe that any testing of this particular strain has been performed. However, several coronaviruses similar in construction have been found to be susceptible to UVC energy. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, and a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans."

Currently similar coronaviruses are the basis for understanding how COVID-19 is spread. The main vector of transmission from person to person appears to be from close contact (within 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. SARS, MERS, and H1N1 are all coronaviruses that have similar vectors of transmission. The transmission through touching surfaces, and touching the eyes, mouth, or nose is also contributing to the spread of the virus.

Learn more about the basics on COV-19, and review frequently asked questions.

Negative test results could lead to a false sense of security

According to Paul Fulton (Press Officer for the CDC), the current incubation period for the COVID-19 virus is 14 days. So any test administered within that time frame is a test for the person's status at that moment. This means if a person tests negative early during that 14-day incubation period it may simply mean the virus has not reached a detectable level in that person at the point in time the test is administered. This can lead to a false sense of security, and may create confusion for the public. The more the CDC learns about the virus the better, as they will be able to determine the optimal time to test for the virus.

Review the full transcript of the CDC press briefing.

"The greatest risk is from an unsuspected patient in an unprepared hospital."

The words of Eric Toner (Sr. Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in an article for CIDRAP) may seem ominous, but they are spot on in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak and the potential risk to our brave healthcare professionals.

UVC for COVID-19 The potential flashpoint is at the patient intake and waiting area. At this point the client is a question mark and their status is undetermined. In a common area like this many pathogens (influenza, TB etc.) become aerosolized and spread throughout the space. How can healthcare facilities prepare?

Employ multiple interventions. Availability of proper masks and respirators (PPE); signage to educate the patient on symptoms; enhanced cleaning protocols, including the addition of ultraviolet equipment for air and surface disinfection.

Shortwave UV energy (UVC) has been proven to be an effective adjunct against many pathogens when used with the standard and enhanced cleaning protocols. American Ultraviolet provides the necessary disinfection solutions with our custom designed, and unique "Four Pillars of UVC Disinfection for Healthcare" program.

The first of our "Four Pillars of UVC Disinfection for Healthcare" are the upper air and ceiling mounted disinfection units. These units provide a "blanket of UVC protection" over waiting rooms, emergency rooms, corridors, central areas, and other areas where infected hosts can spread the contamination.

Learn more.

UV for CoronavirusThe second American Ultraviolet pillar is the ARTZ 2.0® (Automatically Reliably Targeting Zero) Mobile Room Disinfection Unit, which has been designed with the goal of targeting zero infections in the environment around the patient.

Learn more about the ARTZ 2.0, and other mobile units from American Ultraviolet that are designed to prevent the spread of HAIs and SSIs.

UV for Coronavirus The third American Ultraviolet pillar from our "Four Pillars of UVC Disinfection for Healthcare" consists of equipment that disinfects live critical air streams circulating throughout healthcare facilities. Infectious airborne microbiological agents, too small to be captured by filtration, can be disinfected as they pass through the "blanket of UVC energy" provided by American Ultraviolet's UVC designs.

Learn more about the performance of UVC for moving air stream applications.

OR Packages for UVC disinfectionThe fourth American Ultraviolet UVC Disinfection pillar is the UVC OR Package, which consists of a variety of permanently mounted fixtures that can be retrofitted to an existing OR Suite. The system is computer controlled, and designed to be utilized for entire room disinfection before, after, and in between surgeries; and also for use during surgeries.

Learn more about the impact you can expect from using the OR Package from American Ultraviolet by reviewing a white paper from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Four Pillars of UVC Disinfection for Healthcare

The American Ultraviolet four pillars of UVC disinfection for Healthcare approach looks at the entire facility, and the main vectors of transmission for pathogens. As part of our efforts to provide a complete disinfection solution for healthcare, we also offer companion products to facilitate the implementation of a proper UVC program.

Our line of Four Pillars companion products includes:

  • UVC systems for water disinfection - self-contained systems in sizes from ½ gallon per minute high purity units for laboratory and point-of-use applications, to 1,000 gallon per minute units that handle the whole incoming water supply to the facility.

UVC dosimeter for dosage verification of our mobile units, and UVC OR package - the UVC Dosimeter is our newest addition, and it provides the staff with a visual indication that the target surface has received the proper level of energy to deactivate pathogens of concern in healthcare settings. These inexpensive and easy-to use-indicators provide our clients with an added layer of assurance when using UVC technology.

Review the latest updates about COVID-19 from the World Health Organization