Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight March 4, 2020

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Page 2 ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION MARCH 4, 2020 • Typically, with respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). With COVID-19, however, there have been reports of spread from an infected patient with no symptoms. Therefore, it is important to be aware that taking precautions to avoid others' germs is essential, whether or not they—or you—appear or feel sick. • Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. COVID-19 probably lives a long time outside the human body Although COVID-19 is too new to have much research on it, a study in the The Journal of Hospital Infection on similar coronaviruses showed: • At temperatures of around 4°C or 39.2°F, certain versions of the coronavirus could remain viable for up to 28 days. At temperatures of 30–40°C (86–104°F), coronaviruses tended to persist for a shorter time. • At room temperature, a coronavirus responsible for the common cold (HCoV- 229E) persisted significantly longer in 50% humidity than 30% humidity. Overall, the authors of the study conclude: "Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C [86°F] or more, the duration of persistence is shorter." When the scientists delved into the literature on the persistence of coronaviruses on different surfaces, the results were variable. For instance, the MERS virus persisted for 48 hours on a steel surface at 20°C (68°F). However, on a similar surface and at the same temperature, TGEV survived for up to 28 days. Similarly, two studies investigated the survival of two strains of SARS coronavirus on a paper surface. One survived 4–5 days, the other for just 3 hours. Implications for portable sanitation The global community is going to great lengths to isolate COVID-19 by shutting down travel and putting other restrictions in place. Still, based on the news of the past week, it now appears inevitable that COVID-19 will become more common around the world. Portable sanitation companies should be aware of the following findings from the above research regarding substances that will likely kill COVID-19: • Agents, including hydrogen peroxide (0.5% concentration), ethanol (62– 71%), and sodium hypochlorite (a chemical in bleach at 0.1%), quickly and successfully inactivate coronaviruses with a 1-minute exposure time. • Solutions of a biocide called benzalkonium chloride which is found in some hand sanitizers and cleaning products produced conflicting results; and • Chlorhexidine digluconate, which people use as a topical antiseptic, was ineffective. Coronavirus Update …continued from page 1 Continued on page 10 • COVID-19 can probably live a very long time outside the human body. • COVID-19 can probably live a very long time on surfaces. • COVID-19 probably lives longest in cool, moist environments.

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