Stockholm and Greifswald - The risk of nosocomial infections with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is high. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control () has published recommendations for personal protective equipment. According to an overview in the Journal of Hospital Infection (2020;), coronaviruses can be detected on surfaces for up to 9 days.
The minimum PPE ("personal protective equipment") for contact with patient suspected of 2019- CoV infection or confirmed infection should, according to the ECDC, consist of respiratory protection (FFP2 or FFP3) in combination with protective goggles or face protection plus long-sleeved waterproof protective clothing and protective suits.
3 to 6 sets of these are required for each investigation of suspected case. For the care of an isolated patient, the clinics should keep minimum of 14 to 15 sets per day. A seriously ill patient would probably need 15 to 24 sets, according to technical report from the ECDC.
The spread of coronaviruses occurs via droplet infection. Not only direct contact with the patient is dangerous. The virus can also spread through hands and surfaces that are often touched.
In the hospital, for example, these can be doorknobs, but also bells, bedside tables, bed frames and other objects in the immediate vicinity of patients, explained Günter Kampf from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Greifswald University Medical Center. Together with Eike Steinmann von der, the researcher has compiled the findings from 22 studies on coronaviruses and their inactivation.
This means that coronaviruses remain on inanimate surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days - if they are not eliminated.
According to the experts, tests with wide variety of disinfectant solutions have shown that agents based on ethanol, hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite are effective against coronaviruses. If you use these active ingredients in the appropriate concentration, they reduce the number of infectious coronaviruses by 4 so-called log levels within one minute, the experts report. This means, for example, that the number of disease-causing particles will be reduced from one million to 100.
If preparations based on other active ingredients are used, the product should be proven to be at least effective against enveloped viruses ("limited virucidal “), Advise Kampf and Steinmann. As rule, this should be enough to significantly reduce the risk of infection, according to the experts.