The impacts of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, have left many wondering how they can protect themselves and others against infection. While there is still a lot that is unknown about the virus, public health officials and cleaning professionals have been working diligently to find effective solutions.

What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

According to the CDC, the first human coronavirus was identified in the mid 1960s. COVID-19 is a new strain that we’ve never seen before in humans. Like SARS-CoV, it is one of three animal coronaviruses that can infect and spread among people.

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China where thousands of cases have been confirmed. Illnesses range from little to no symptoms at all, to people becoming severely ill and dying. 

There have been 14 confirmed cases in the United States, but according to the CDC, risk levels in the United States are still low.

Common symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. A lot is still unknown about how the virus spreads, but most coronaviruses commonly spread person-to-person. The CDC claims that people suffering from respiratory illnesses are thought to be the most contagious when they are the most symptomatic.

Can you disinfect against COVID-19?

The first plan of action is to break the chain of infection, but where do you start when a new virus is the source of a major outbreak?

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection claims that COVID-19 can live on a surface for up to nine days. The study found that disinfecting solutions that contain 62% to 72% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite kill the novel coronavirus within a minute of contact.

However, disinfecting solutions that contain these ingredients are only effective when instructions for use are followed consistently. This is true when combatting any infectious outbreak. Having a program in place that includes touch point disinfection and electrostatic disinfection, led by certified professionals can help to ensure industry standards are upheld.

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, there are a few everyday preventive actions you can take to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.
  • If soap isn’t available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Where Do I Go for Information about COVID-19?

Be alert as new information about the virus surfaces, but only trust credible sources. There is a lot of information targeted at inciting fear, only to receive more clicks and page views. A reputable source you can always trust is the CDC.

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