The coronavirus pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is actively spreading across the globe. Though the infection rate remains high, health officials urge people to prevent infection by washing their hands frequently and disinfecting surfaces where the virus may harbor.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just approved two disinfection sprays that can kill severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on surfaces. The agency gave the green light to Lysol Disinfectant Spray, and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist, as two products that can effectively kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus within two minutes of contact.
More than 420 disinfection products are strong enough to remove hard-to-kill viruses, but these two products are effective on the pathogen that is now spreading widely across the globe.
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The novel coronavirus
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, started in Wuhan City, in China in December 2019. From there, it has spread to 188 countries and territories, infecting more than 11.79 million people and killing more than 543,000 to date.
The pathogen is a type of coronavirus, akin to those that caused outbreaks in 2003 and 2012, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Primarily, the SARS-CoV-2 can spread via respiratory droplets and aerosols, and indirectly through contaminated surfaces for hours, even days.
The coronavirus is a type of enveloped virus. These are among the most susceptible to formulated disinfectants and detergents, including personal care soaps and liquid washes. When the glycoproteinaceous envelope of the virus comes in contact with these formulations, they become altered, preventing its binding with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. Hence, infection is prevented.
Health officials recommend regular hand washing, social distancing, and wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, disinfecting surfaces and regular cleaning are also valuable tools to contain the virus spread.
Disinfecting to prevent virus spread
The EPA tested the products and found that they can kill the pathogen within just two minutes.
Hygiene is both the foundation of health and essential in preventing the spread of illness-causing germs. The EPA's approval recognizes that using Lysol Disinfectant Spray can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In the face of the pandemic, Lysol continues to work with a wide range of scientific and health experts to educate the public on the importance of hygiene," Rahul Kadyan, executive vice president of Reckitt Benckiser in North America, said.
The results of the tests were published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) and was the first comprehensive evaluation of the efficacy of popular brands like Lysol products in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Lysol, commissioned the study as part of its commitment to developing scientific knowledge around hygiene and COVID-19.
"Our investment in research is a part of our relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world," Ferran Rousaud, Marketing Director for Lysol, said. The company has started testing other disinfectant products if they can effectively combat the novel coronavirus.
The United States is the nation with the highest number of infections, reaching 2.99 million. It has a death toll of more than 131,000, the highest in the world. Brazil follows with an infection toll of 1.66 million, with a death toll of more than 66,000. The country is grappling with a high number of infections and deaths tied to the coronavirus, with its health system struggling to provide the needed care for those who are sick.
India, Russia, Peru, and Chile are among the hardest-hit countries, with hundreds of thousands of infections. South America has now claimed the spot as the epicenter of the pandemic, with many countries reporting a vast spread of the virus. Peru reports more than 309,000 infections, and Chile has at least 301,000 infections.