COVID-19 Coronavirus Information On Disinfection Processes and Infectious Disease
“Cleaning” vs. “Disinfecting” vs. “Sanitizing”
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. (Source: www.cdc.gov)
“Enveloped” vs. Non-Enveloped” Viruses Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miOPtXTeHYE
Kill Logs/Log Reduction: Log reduction is a mathematical term that is used to express the relative number of living microbes that are eliminated by disinfection. For example, a 1 log reduction corresponds to inactivating 90 percent of a target microbe with the microbe count being reduced by a factor of 10.
Example: Disinfection professional today are generally concerned with what percentage of a given germ is killed by a particular process or disinfectant. The highest percentage that is generally used is 99.9999%. In scientific research papers, this percentage is written as “ a 6 log10 reduction”, but in medical shorthand it’s known as “a greater-than 6-log reduction” or “a 6-log kill rate.”
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So how are log rates calculated? Scientists use a logarithmic scale. Log reduction stands for a 10-fold (or one decimal point) reduction in bacteria, meaning the disinfectant reduces the number of live bacteria by 90 percent for every step. (Source: www.halosil.com)
To help understand the value of each additional “log”, let’s do the math for a small colony of a million MRSA bacteria under the edge of a patient’s table in a hospital:
A 1-log kill reduces the colony to 100,000 MRSA bacteria after a 90% reduction;
A 2-log kill reduces the colony to 10,000 bacteria after a 99% reduction;
A 3-log kill reduces the colony to 1,000 bacteria after a 99.9% reduction;
A 4-log kill reduces the colony to 100 bacteria after a 99.99% reduction;
A 5-log kill reduces the colony to 10 bacteria after a 99.999% reduction;
A 6-log kill reduces the colony to 1 MRSA bacterium after a 99.9999% reduction.
Common terms and likely applications:
- CDC/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Resources & Information (cdc.gov)
- FDA/Food and Drug Administration – Testing Kits (fda.gov)
- Homeland Security – Travel restrictions & Pandemic Preparedness (dhs.gov)
- EPA/Environmental Protection Agency – Disinfectants that meet criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 (epa.gov)
- WHO/World Health Organization – Information & Guidance (who.int)
- Epidemiologist – Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education and health policy.
- Virologist – MD or PhD Virologists study viruses that affect humans, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi, and plants in community, clinical, agricultural, and natural environments.
“Coronavirus” vs. “COVID-19”
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They are estimated to cause about a third of all cases of the common cold. The most common forms can cause mild to moderate illness in people, while other forms circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. (Source: health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.html)
- COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. COVID-19 is not caused by the same coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)in 2003 or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012. However, it is in the same family of viruses.
“Epidemic vs. “Pandemic”
- An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.”
- A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic. (Source: Merriam-Webster, merriam-webster.com)
Additional Resources for businesses and employers – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
CDC printable resources – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html
EPA registered disinfectants – https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
“This tool/page does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge or information. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.”
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