No one expected it to happen in this lifetime. Still, now, in the 2020s, COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has become the most significant global pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918. What was once a faraway disease happening in another part of the world is raging through every nation, including the USA. And the battle now turns to minimize infection and “flattening the curve” so as not to overwhelm medical facilities.
One of the ways that COVID-19 infection rates can be drastically cut, besides following government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, is a clean environment. Here’s why careful cleaning for COVID-19 might just save some lives.
The Novel Risk
COVID-19 is a “novel virus.” This means that the virus has never been encountered by humanity before, unlike common diseases such as chickenpox or measles, which have been with us for some time. As a result of being a novel virus, humans have no resistance and no immunity to the disease, which guarantees a 100% infection rate for anyone sufficiently exposed to it.
This also means that this infection rate is active throughout most of the illness. Having a cold, for example, usually means a person is most infectious 1-2 days before symptoms are visible, and the severity of transmitting the cold virus drops off as time passes. With COVID-19, the rate of transmission remains high at all times due to no one having any previous exposure—and therefore immunity—to it. In particular, the elderly or anyone else with immunosuppressive or respiratory medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
There are three primary ways that COVID-19 can be transmitted, all identical to a cold or flu. Direct contact with someone infected is the most common, as fluid transmission easily occurs. This means that a person’s saliva, tears, blood, mucus, sweat, or any other body fluid can transmit the virus. So if people rub their eyes, then shake someone’s hand, for example, there’s a chance of infection.
Another method of transmission is “aerosol,” which is to say particles in the air. COVID-19 is now known to remain active in aerosol form for up to three hours in the air. If someone sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth in a room, that means the room may transmit the virus to anyone that enters for hours.
The last method of transmission is secondary touching. Similar to direct contact, if someone gets body fluids on their hands, such as sweat, mucus, or tears, then touches things, like the hand pole on a subway, anyone that touches that object is at risk of infection. COVID-19 can survive up to three days on plastic and stainless steel materials.
Biohazard Clean Up Makes A Difference
Professional biohazard clean up is one of the best ways to ensure that an area is decontaminated and safe. This is orders of magnitude beyond using off-the-shelf—or even janitorial—cleaning products, and involves cleaning agents and antiseptics that are industrial grade.
Biohazard cleaning can take care of chemical spills, crime scenes, and disease centers. If you have a home with a COVID-19 infection, a health facility with an urgent need for sterile cleaning, or are preparing a new triage area to accept patients, contact us. We can help at Blackhill Restoration.